SAN DIEGO (AP) – The failure of a Coast Guard boat operator to drive his craft safely led to a 2009 collision with a pleasure boat that killed an 8-year-old boy and injured 10 people in San Diego Harbor, according to a final Coast Guard report released Thursday night.
The report also cites failures of the crew to follow standard risk management methods and the command climate at the guard’s San Diego station, but places primary blame on the driver of the boat, Petty Officer 3rd Class Paul Ramos, who was demoted and sentenced to three months in the brig for dereliction of duty for the crash.
The 33-foot Coast Guard patrol vessel was going as fast as 42 knots _ or 48 mph _ when it struck the 24-foot pleasure boat shortly after the Festival of Lights holiday fireworks show in the bay crowded with kayaks, canoes and other watercraft, according to eyewitnesses and a video taken within 100 yards of the wreck.
Thirteen people were aboard the boat. Eight-year-old Anthony DeWeese was killed and 10 others injured.
The report comes after a thorough investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and a military trial for Ramos and two other crew members, but was intended by the Coast Guard to find ways to prevent similar collisions.
“No words or deeds can atone for the death of a young boy, or for the pain caused to his family,” Vice Adm. John P. Currier, the Coast Guard’s vice commandant, said in a statement accompanying the report. “We can only affirm our resolve to ensure nothing like this happens again.”
The crew was rushing to help a grounded sailboat, but investigators said it was in no danger of taking on water and there was no need to reach it so quickly.
The report recommends better training for boat operators and commanders, including reviews of risk management policy and case studies of collisions like this one to make sure its lessons are ingrained in students.
The NTSB investigation was sharply critical of the lack of oversight of San Diego Coast Guard command, with board members saying it was especially unfortunate that an agency charged with enforcing sea safety would take part in such dangerous boating.
The crew members delivered emotional apologies to DeWeese’s family in court. Ian Howell, the highest-ranking member of the patrol boat crew, told Deweese’s parents he wished it had been him who was killed instead of their son.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Skin Cancer in Arizona: Stats, facts and new immunotherapy drugs making strides
- Caring Crisis: Rising tide In Alzheimer’s disease leads to shortage of caregivers
- Distracted walking injuries end up not so funny
- Scary situations: 5 quick tips before you let a contractor in your home
- Four ways telemedicine is changing the health care industry
- 5 mistakes homeowners make in the spring
- Three rivers run through it: Exploring Arizona's waterways
- Smart home basics: things you need to know to get started
- 5 Surprising things causing back pain
- Arizona agriculture is a $17.1B industry
- Timeline: Arizona's roots in brewing history
- 5 reasons to love the D-backs this season
- Tips for taking your home entertainment experience to the backyard
- Tech-related injuries your parents never experienced
- Workers comp: Signs your co-worker could be a fraud
- Who's the real founder of America's pastime?
- Epidemic rising? What you need to know about Alzheimer's in Arizona
- 5 unforgettable Wooden Award winners
- Family and hard work are keys to success of modern dairy farmers
- Genetic testing could hold answers for colon cancer survival
- Cold beers and baseball: A beer lover's guide to Spring Training
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain