Airboats are a big part of South Florida’s tourism economy. Operators can show off the natural beauty of the everglades from up close as they zip along the water, powered by a giant propellor in the back. However, with the recent death of a 22-year old in an airboat accident, there may be a push to see if regulations that govern airboat operators should be toughened.
Elizabeth “Ellie” Goldenberg was riding in an airboat with her family, according to the Sun-Sentinel. They were touring the Everglades just a day after her graduation from the University of Miami. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, at some point they came across another vessel that had broken down. Details are unclear, but in approaching the other vessel to help, there was a collision and the boat on which Goldenberg was riding “stopped abruptly”. Goldenberg ended up trapped under the engine cage. Her sister, Dana, had minor injuries, while her parents David and Renee were unhurt.
State Rep. Joseph Abruzzo, who was coincidentally at Goldenberg’s graduation ceremony to see his cousin graduate, has stated that he feels like they could “do better” on enforcing regulations to prevent further deaths. His first step will be to meet with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to review the current safety standards and see if there is something lacking or that could be updated. Abruzzo said he is ready to submit any legislation as soon as possible after getting recommendations from law enforcement.
Goldenberg graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Miami with a degree in fine arts. She performed in several shows on the U of M campus, with her debut being in the ensemble of Carmen, and her last role as Isle in Spring Awakening.
Airboat operators, while feeling sympathy for the family, claim that this accident is not a sign of any trends. An operator said that while it’s sad, airboats transport hundreds of thousands of people every year without many issues, and certainly any fatalities. He referred to any kind of accident as a “rarity.” However, while statistics are hard to come by, a quick internet search would reveal that there are several accidents every year, and some of them are fatal. Just in the past week, there was an accident when two airboats collided, and a Texas tourist was injured.   
It remains to be seen when and if the laws surrounding airboats will be changed or strengthened, and what affect those regulations will have on the industry. In the meantime, if you’re injured in an accident of any kind in Miami, your best option is to contact a personal injury lawyer as soon as you’re able. An attorney will be able to explain all the laws and regulations that might surround your case, and work to protect your rights. If you want to get the compensation you feel you deserve, then obtaining the services of a reputable attorney is your best bet.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.