Singer Sean Kingston, was involved in a very, very serious accident last Saturday when he was having fun with friends, cruising the MacArthur Causeway on a personal watercraft ,which most know as a Jet Ski, though it’s unclear who the maker is of the product that Sean Kingston was using – others include Yamaha WaveRunners and SeaDoos .
Today, Sean Kingston is in the Jackson Memorial Hospital ICU after he crashed that watercraft while going at a high speed. According to his friend, who was riding behind him at the time, Sean was riding toward the Palm Island Bridge when he realized that they would not fit under the bridge. As he turned the watercraft, both Sean Kingston and his passenger, Cassandra Sanchez, were thrown into the water.
A Good Samaritan in a nearby boat grabbed them from the Causeway, and while Cassandra was banged up but otherwise okay, Sean Kingston has suffered severe trauma and is far from out of the woods at this point.
Meanwhile, friends like Serena Williams are popping into the hospital for a visit and Justin Bieber is tweeting about Sean’s condition – Sean Kingston was Bieber’s opening act during his last tour. Police officials have confirmed that alcohol wasn’t involved.
Miami Beach – and most of Florida – is filled with water-people. Tourists and locales alike love the sun and sand and surf: there are lots of personal watercraft (like JetSkis and WaveRunners) in use every day. Which means that there have been more accidents here in Florida involving these personal watercraft than in other states, and the Florida Legislature has enacted lots of regulations over their use.
- Each person operating, riding on, or being towed behind a personal watercraft must wear an approved non-inflatable Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device (PFD).
- Inflatable PFDs are prohibited for personal watercraft use.
- The operator of a personal watercraft must attach the engine cutoff switch lanyard (if equipped by the manufacturer) to his/her person, clothing or PFD.
- Personal watercraft may not be operated from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, even if navigation lights are used. Remember, both federal and state law requires the use of navigation lights from sunset to sunrise.
- Maneuvering a personal watercraft by weaving through congested vessel traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably close or when visibility around the vessel is obstructed, or swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision is classified as reckless operation of a vessel (a first-degree misdemeanor).
- A person must be at least 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft in Florida.
- A person must be at least 18 years of age to rent a personal watercraft in Florida.
- It is unlawful for a person to knowingly allow a person under 14 years of age to operate a personal watercraft (a second-degree misdemeanor).
- Anyone born on or after January 1, 1988 is required to either have successfully completed a National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) approved boating education course or have passed a course equivalency or temporary certificate examination and have in their possession a boating education ID card and a photo identification card before operating a vessel with a motor of 10 HP or more in Florida. Identification cards for persons completing the course or the equivalency exam are good for a lifetime. Temporary Certificate exams are made available to the public through contractors. The temporary certificate is valid for 12 months from the issue date.
Any personal injury lawsuit that arises from a serious personal watercraft injury or wrongful death will face an insurance company (and defense attorney) going through this list with a fine-toothed comb, looking for ways to make the driver responsible for his own accident.