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| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

A fun-filled day on the Chesapeake Bay turned tragic after a local preteen impaled her leg on a boat’s propeller, the Virginian-Pilotreported on July 1, 2011. The girl had been tubing with friends when she went to climb back onboard. Suddenly, her leg was trapped between the boat’s two propellers.

The rescue took approximately 90 minutes, with paramedics, firefighters and police all in on the effort. Because the propeller could not safely be removed from the girl’s leg, rescuers worked to detach the propeller from the boat. With waves rocking the boat every few seconds, the girl’s head had to be held above water by rescuers to prevent her from drowning. Luckily, the rescuers were able to save the girl and transport her to a local hospital.

With summer fun waiting to be had, boat safety is frequently overlooked and can have tragic consequences. Thanks to the tremendous efforts by rescuers, doctors were able to save the impaled leg, but the girl remains in critical condition.

Hampton Roads provides so many wonderful boating opportunities for locals, but it’s important to understand the dangers that come along with the sport. It’s no surprise that with the summer holidays come an increase in accidents like this one. Whether you’re jet skiing, fishing, or just taking your boat for a spin, accidents can happen when you least expect it. Tourists and locals alike must not underestimate the potential for accidents on the open water. No matter how experienced you are with boating, accidents can happen at any time.


About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.

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