Boat Accident in Sylvan Lake Michigan – Boating  accident involving children

You can almost imagine it if you close your eyes. One of Michigan’s most beautiful summer days by the lake. You can remember all types of wonderful images; the sunny sky, the gentle breeze and the waves slowly lapping up on the shore. If you live in Michigan chances are you have experienced that glorious sight. A scene that is so peaceful and quiet. One could assume that it is almost like heaven. We are truly blessed to live in such a wonderful State with all of the lakes that surround our shores. Michigan truly is a water wonderland! However, we must remain ever vigilant. With all that water comes some real dangers. We must always remember that some very horrific dangers are ever present in the water. Unfortunately, last week we were tragically reminded of those ever present dangers.

A father, John Mansour, and his three children, Alexander age 11, Adriana age 10 and Gabrielle age 6 were just having a fun day out on Sylvan Lake located in West Bloomfield Township. The father was pulling them on an inner tube with 10 feet of tow line behind his two seat personal watercraft. The initial report is that the Jet Ski was Southbound on the lake, when the boat traveling Eastbound drove over the tow line and tube carrying the three children. The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said the children were taken to McLaren Hospital in Pontiac, where the boy was pronounced dead. The two girls were transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. Gabrielle Mansour, 6, died at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak the day after the tubing accident that killed her 11-year-old brother, Alexander. Adriana remains at the hospital in critical condition.

It is with extreme sorrow that we need to discuss such matters.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been devastated by this disaster. Who is to blame for such a horrific accident? Does it really matter? Some may argue that it does not matter who is to blame. The final outcome cannot be changed. The families and the communities will be forever changed due to that one moment in time that cannot be replayed. The problem is that this scene will be replayed. Over and over again; go to one of our lakes this summer and sit down and take a look. You will probably see a Jet Ski or two and probably see some kids being towed behind one on an inner tube. The best way to honor the children who have lost their lives is to make sure that this does not happen again! Make sure that one more precious child is not lost due to the negligence of others.

Our experienced attorneys have worked on many tragic accident cases.

When accidents involve young children they seem to be particularly devastating. No, it will not change the outcome but maybe by learning who was negligent we can prevent this from happening again! There were many things that “went wrong” that day. There was no spotter protecting those children. This is a violation of Michigan boating law. Michigan law prohibits two person personal water craft to pull a tuber. What about the boat that hit the kids? Was it speeding? Was he operating his vessel too close to the personal water craft? What about the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office? They stopped patrolling Sylvan Lake several years ago! When we get the answers to these questions we will be in a better position to protect our children.

In addition to offering Michigan Boater safety classes in our public schools Michigan now offers two online boating safety classes and an exam. The website’s are as follows: BoatEd.com and BoaterExam.com.

Make sure to practice boater safety:

• Wear life jackets at all times
• Operate vessels and crafts at least 100 feet away from shore, docks or other vessels
• Maintain a reasonable speed
• At all times remain fully alert of your surroundings and other boaters
• Refrain from consuming alcohol while operating any vessel on the water
• Keep a close watch on young children, with an adult monitoring their activity at all times
• Learn and follow the boating safety laws and regulations in your community
• Have a working knowledge and understanding of how your vessel or PWC operates and performs on the water and conduct regular maintenance checks to prevent mechanical failure
• If you are going to tow anything, have a spotter on what you are towing and if what you are towing is smaller that you make sure it is clearly visible to all others on the water with you by using flags during the day. At night add lights and reflectors not only on what you are towing but on the tow line as well and if possible add another boat behind the tow also.

Remember, it only takes a minute to practice boater safety and it could affect your future in a very dramatic way. Practice boater safety and continue to enjoy the water wonderland that is Michigan.

For additional information, please visit: 

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