MARINA DEL REY – A power boat driven by Peter Sorrento, of Chatsworth, struck a competitive rowboat in Marina Del Rey on Sunday morning. The rowboat was split in half and a woman in the rowbaot was airlifted to a local hospital.
The collision between the boats occurred at 8:20 a.m. in the channel at Marina Del Rey that boats use to enter and exit into the bay.
There were eight occupants in the rowboat and other than the woman taken to the hospital, some of the other occupants suffered minor injuries.
Peter Sorrento, the driver of the motorboat, was cited for failing to follow boating rules. The maritime rule is that power boats have to give non-power boats, including sail boats and rowboats, the right of way. Mr. Sorrento erred in the following:
1. did not give the rowing shell the right of way.
2. when he saw the rowing shell he did not turn his wheel to avoid a collision.
3. he did not cut the power to his engines, either before, during, or immediately after the collision.
The maximum harbor speed is 5 nautical miles per hour in Marina del Rey and it is a “No Wake Zone”. It is not known whether the motor boat by Peter Sorrento was exceeding the speed limit.
The motor boat operator is almost certainly liable for the injuries to the occupants. Boat negligence is very serious, and boating accident cases are typically covered by insurance.