On July 11, 2017 around 1:45 a.m. in the morning, a fire broke out and engulfed a 65-foot catamaran in Falmouth, Massachusetts, according to CBS Boston. The flames quickly consumed the entire boat, and left a woman on-board with severe burns. Boating accidents like this are unfortunately far from uncommon.
Massachusetts has a state law governing boating accidents. M.G.L. c. 90B, § 1, defines “boating accident” as “…an occurrence in which a waterborne vessel subject to this chapter is involved, whether or not there has been any actual collision, and which results in damage by or to such vessel or its equipment, or by or to an object or person being towed, pushed or propelled by such vessel, or in which there is an injury to any person, loss of life, or disappearance of any person under circumstances which indicate the possibility of death or injury or disappearance of a vessel other than by theft.”
One common cause of boating accidents is the operation of a vessel under the influence of alcoholic or narcotics. M.G.L. c. 90B, § 8 prohibits the operation of any vessel on the waters of Massachusetts while the operator is under the influence intoxicating liquor, marijuana, narcotic drugs, depressant or stimulant substances, or glue vapors. According this statute, violators will face either a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1000, imprisonment for not more than 2.5 years, or both. The violator may additional have his or her boating license revoked or suspended.