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America’s Cup boat accident claims life of medal-winning olympian

The America’s Cup is a historic yachting competition that goes all the way back to 1851. The one-on-one boat race pits two yacht clubs against each other; and the winner obtains the oldest active trophy in international sport, the America’s Cup. San Francisco is playing host of the latest edition of the competition.

However, late last week, tragedy struck as a 36-year-old British olympian — who had won two medals — was killed in a boating accident during preparations for America’s Cup. His catamaran capsized in the bay, and he was trapped underneath the vessel for an unknown amount of time. When he was brought ashore, medics were not able to revive him.

There are many boating regulations that apply to people who choose to take their boat, their yacht, or some other waterborne craft out on the bay; and there are even more rules and regulations when an official race is being conducted. In this case, investigators will be looking at weather conditions during this fatal boat ride and whether race officials should have allowed the boaters out on the water.

In addition, the protocols and procedures of the America’s Cup organizers will be questioned. The waterways of the San Francisco Bay can be very crowded, and it is not uncommon for boaters to become disoriented by all of the traffic they have to navigate. This can cause an accident.

Whenever someone is injured in a boating accident — may the harm be minor, moderate, or unfortunately fatal — the affected parties and their loved ones need to consider their legal options.

Source: CBS 47, “Deadly boat accident in San Francisco Bay,” May 10, 2013

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