LOS ANGELES – A group of children kayaking off Catalina Island learned the hard way that sudden weather changes can quickly affect boaters and put them in harm’s way. The group of children who were chaperoned by adults were carried nearly a mile off shore when winds suddenly increased to nearly 45 knots, and the temperature dropped significantly.
Fortunately, a California Fish and Game boat named Thresher, the Coast Guard Cutter Halibut and a Good Samaritan together were able to assist the group and help them safely return to shore. According to the report, all of the kayakers were wearing life jackets. Still despite the quick rescue, there were several kayakers who reported were mildly hypothermic due to the exposure out on the ocean for a prolonged period of time.
“Boat accidents are common in Southern California, but preparation and planning can make the difference between having a safe trip or a tragedy,” said Attorney West Seegmiller, founder of the Seegmiller Law Firm in Irvine.
The United States Coast Guard issued a press release Thursday to remind boaters that our waterways can quickly turn deadly due to storms and inclement weather. As summer approaches, boaters in Southern California will likely spend more time on the water fishing, water skiing, swimming and enjoying the coastline views.
However, all boaters should first check the weather forecast prior to heading out on the water and heed warning signs such as dark clouds, high winds or other foul weather. Additionally, stocking the boat with plenty of life jackets, a radio or waterproof and charged cell phone is mandatory in case of emergencies.
Boaters should also consider filing a float plan with friends or family on shore so they can quickly notify search and rescue agencies if your boat fails to return as scheduled.
California Boat Safety Links
For more information on weather, boaters may visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/lox/
For information on safe boating, boaters are encouraged to visit www.uscgboating.org
Float plan forms are available at, visit http://www.floatplancentral.org/
The Seegmiller Law Firm can be reached at 1-855-ASK–WEST. For over 30 years, the firm has been a staunch advocate for victims’ rights and has fought for clients involved in personal injury and wrongful death cases, including premises liability, product liability, auto accidents, dog bites, nursing home negligence, medical malpractice, at-work injuries and more. The firm has offices in Irvine, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino, California, and Las Vegas, Nevada.