A man and his 8-year-old son died in a jet ski crash with another watercraft at Somers Point, New Jersey. The accident occurred around 4:45 p.m. in the proximity of Patcong Creek.
The vessel had made a sharp turn while riding the waters of the Jersey Shore, and then they crashed head-on onto another jet ski piloted by a 55-year-old woman. The man and the boy suffered serious injuries, and they were taken to the Shore Memorial Hospital. They died shortly after arriving due to the severity of their wounds. The woman only suffered a broken wrist.
A lethal jet-ski trip
Authorities retained the watercraft involved in the events, and they are to be examined by forensics. It seems that the man and child from Maryland crashed into the other jet ski because there was low visibility at the time.
The accident became lethal because police have determined that the boy was sitting in the front of the vehicle, nearest to the watercraft’s controls. Some theories point out to the kid being in control of the jet ski at the time of the accident. At the moment, there’s not any evidence leading to the involvement of alcohol.
The New Jersey State Police have made several statements. First, they addressed that jet skis can be difficult to control, especially for inexperienced pilots. They recommended people to warn their acquaintances if there was knowledge of a future jet ski trip, as it is plausible to be involved in a deadly crash just like this one if the pilot is not decently prepared.
— WJZ | CBS Baltimore (@cbsbaltimore) July 3, 2016
They also issued a series of guidelines considering waterway safety. They stressed the necessity of watercraft and security equipment being approved by the Coast Guard. Any motorboat, regardless of its size, must carry a personal flotation device, a fire extinguisher, sound signaling devices, visual distress signals and navigation lights. The guidelines show that piloting any watercraft at night without navigation lights is both dangerous and illegal, as there is no other way of knowing how the vessel is moving about other boats sailing in the dark.
It was reported by Fox News that, according to witnesses, at the time when father and son crashed, the waters of Patcong Creek were full with other boats, which increased the possibility of vessels hitting, particularly when sailing at high speeds.
Witness Melissa Splendido stated to KYW-TV, “It has been very unsettling tonight, knowing what had happened, that we came upon that. Thinking about them and thinking about their families and just hoping that everyone is doing okay tonight.”
Police have not revealed much information about the victims, as not even their names were stated to the press. The jet skis were hauled to the racks of the marina, as they display the effects of the collision on their hull, with their front section torn apart by the fatal crash.
It seems that there were Coast Guards and State Police officials at the time of the accident, so they were able to provide immediate assistance even if both father and son did not make it through emergency procedures.
— Action News on 6abc (@6abc) July 3, 2016
Source: NBC News