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Wrongful Death Lawsuit Proceeds Against Coast Guard in San Diego

The Port of San Diego's Harbor Police have completed their report on the boat crash that killed an eight-year-old boy last December, and they have handed it over to the District Attorney's office. Last Thursday, the families that were on the recreational boat were in court regarding the wrongful death lawsuit they have filed against the Coast Guard. They are claiming negligence and wrongful death on the part of the Coast Guard, accusing Coast Guard supervisors of knowing that the boat's crew was not properly trained or supervised. The families' lawyers say that they are hoping to cause the Coast Guard to overhaul its operations in San Diego Bay.

The accident occurred when a U.S. Coast Guard boat collided with a recreational boat in San Diego Bay on December 20 during the Parade of Lights. The boy's father said he saw the Coast Guard boat coming and tried to move out of the way, but that it happened too fast. Witnesses said they could hear the crash across the Bay, over all the noise of the parade. The father estimates the Coast Guard vessel was going 30-40 knots, whereas he says he was going 2-3 knots. The boy was transported to UCSD Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. Five other people on the boat, three adults and two children, received major traumas.

The crash happened just after the sun went down, on a clear night with a light wind. The Coast Guard crew has said they were responding to a 6pm report of a grounded vessel. The National Transportation Safety is conducting an independent investigation, which may take 12-18 months to complete.


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