According to a report from The Maritime Executive, Texas authorities have confirmed that one person was killed after a tour boat capsized in a tragic accident north of Houston. The vessel capsized on Lake Conroe, shortly after 8:00 PM on the evening of August 14th. The victim, an 80-year-old man, was pronounced dead at a hospital after being rescued from the water. Two others were taken to local medical centers in stable condition. Here, our Texas maritime accident lawyers provide a more detailed overview of what we currently know about the tragic incident.
Boat Capsizes: Tragedy on Lake Conroe
The Montgomery County Fire Department arrived at Lake Conroe after receiving several calls requesting emergency assistance. When they got to the scene of the incident, they discovered that a tour boat had capsized. It was lying on its side and several people were still in the water. In total, there were 53 passengers and crew members aboard the vessel at the time of the accident. Tragically, a man identified as Karl Katzenberger of Montgomery, Texas could not be saved.
Eyewitnesses Report Rough Water, But a Full Investigation is Required
Tour boats should not capsize. The companies that operate these vessels have a legal and ethical responsibility to ensure that they are looking out for the health, safety, and well-being of everyone aboard the boat, including customers and crew members. There are serious questions being raised over exactly what happened to trigger the capsizing of the boat on Lake Conroe in Southeast Texas.
ABC 13 notes that eyewitnesses reported “rough water” on the lake prior to the accident. However, it is unclear as to whether or not the rough water was the cause. A full and comprehensive investigation is needed into what went wrong. State and federal authorities are likely to be called in to help with the investigation.
Boat Accidents: Poor Weather is Not Necessarily a Defense Against Liability
Based on the preliminary reports, weather may have played at least a partial factor in causing the tour boat to capsize on Lake Conroe. That being said, weather is not necessarily a valid defense against liability. Boats should be able to operate safely in less than ideal weather conditions—otherwise they may not be safe enough for passengers and crew members. Further, if adverse weather makes safe operation impossible, then the vessel should simply not be on the lake. The tour must be cancelled to protect the health and well-being of all parties.
Call Our Houston, TX Maritime Accident Attorneys for a Free Consultation
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our Texas maritime injury lawyers have the professional skills to help you and your family navigate the claims process. We handle complex maritime accidents, including wrongful death claims. Contact our legal team today for a no cost, fully confidential initial consultation. From our Houston office location, we provide maritime law representation in Texas and throughout the Gulf Coast region.