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The Accident Lawyers Network Blog

Accident Lawyers Network

Monday, July 7, 2008

Surfer Loses Arm after Being Struck by Boat

A 14-year-old lost his left arm on Sunday as he was surfing off the coast of Pacific City, Oregon after being hit by a boat. Cole Ortega was with his sister and her boyfriend when a dory boat sped toward the shore. Ortega was struck and lost his arm between his shoulder and elbow.

Ortega was helped into shore and his arm was retrieved from the ocean. A nurse and two doctors happened to be at the beach and immediately began treating Ortega. The weather was reportedly "rough" and made a good day for surfing, but not for boating. Another surfer said though the waves were high and Ortega couldn't see above them, the driver of the boat, 55-year-old Darrel Martin, didn't honk his horn or do anything else to alert surfers he was near.

Boaters claim they used a spotter on the beach to signal that everything was clear so they could run straight up to the beach. Cape Kiwanda, where the accident occurred, is a popular surfing location and home to a fleet of dory boats used for fishing. Surfers claim that problems with boats have been ongoing because there seems to be no management. "We've been saying for years, this is going to happen," said one of the surfers.

The dory is a small, shallow-draft boat about 15 to 20 feet in length. It is lightweight and diverse enough to use for whitewater rafting and commercial fishing.

According to the U.S Coast Guard, the latest statistics show that 239 people were struck by propellers or motors of boats in 2005 with 31 fatalities. If you or a loved one has been injured when you were struck by a boat, please contact the Accident Lawyers Network to find an experienced injury lawyer in your area.

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posted by Neil at 11:47 AM

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