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Family Sues After Loved One Jumped Off of Yacht and Drowned


A grieving family has filed a lawsuit against a yachting company and several other named defendants after their loved one jumped off the yacht and drowned in Biscayne Bay in March. The victim was one of 13 passengers aboard the yacht Victoria on March 18, 2023. While docked in the Bay, the 20-year-old victim jumped off the boat and into the waters when he was caught in a riptide and struggled to stay afloat. He died on March 19, 2023. His body was found the day after the incident.

The family and their attorney held a press conference related to the incident during which they said the victim and his friends chartered a vessel from the defendant’s company and its owner who are both named defendants in the lawsuit. After several hours of cruising around Biscayne Bay, the boat set up anchor. An attorney representing the plaintiffs said that currents were strong that day and ripping at the time of the incident. However, the boat’s captain nor any of its crew warned the passengers about the inherent danger of swimming.

The family blames the defendants for:

  • Failing to reasonably and properly train, instruct, or supervise its employees
  • Allowing unqualified and untrained employees to operate the Victoria
  • Failing to properly equip or use the available safety or lifesaving equipment aboard the Victoria
  • Failing to implement reasonable and proper safety policies and procedures for its passengers
  • Failing to warn its passengers of the risks of jumping in the water, especially during poor weather conditions

Analyzing claims of negligence 

Juries can be tough on plaintiffs who bring claims of negligence against companies for acts they committed on their own. In this case, the plaintiff made a choice to jump off the vessel when the current was strong and ended up losing his life as a result of that choice. Florida law makes it possible to portion blame between two parties. In this case, some of the blame would likely fall on the plaintiff for choosing to jump off the vessel when the current was strong. Some of the blame could also fall on the defendants for failing to warn passengers about the inherent risk of attempting to swim that day. Conversely, the company could have had a policy against passengers jumping off the vessel. Maybe they didn’t have such a policy and this resulted in the death of the plaintiff. The defendants are most likely to blame the plaintiff for his own death and argue that he incurred the risk of death when he jumped off the vessel. They will argue that they didn’t owe their passengers a duty of care to warn them against clear and obvious dangers. The plaintiffs will argue that the dangers were not clear and obvious to the victim and that the vessel crew should have warned the passengers about the risk of jumping into the waters.

Talk to a Miami Boat Accident Injury Attorney Today 

Miami admiralty & maritime lawyer Michael F. Guilford, P.A. represents the interests of those injured in boating accidents. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.

  • American Association for Justice
  • Florida Justice Association
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  • American Association for Justice

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Contact the Law Offices of Michael F. Guilford, P.A. for a free initial consultation with Michael Guilford. Flexible appointment times are available. If you can't come to us, we will come to you. Call toll free 866-473-2636 or describe your injuries in an email.

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Michael F. Guilford, P.A.

Courthouse Tower, Suite 750
44 West Flagler St.
Miami, FL 33130

Toll Free: 866-473-2636
Phone: 305-539-1999
Fax: 305-539-1998