Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

A conversation among Whalers
jimh
Posts: 11869
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby jimh » Thu May 16, 2024 9:29 am

A recent boating death which has become extremely high profile in the mainstream news media appears to involve a Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE boat. The initial investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commision has identified a particular 420 OUTRAGE that may have been the boat that struck a swimmer, a 15-year-old girl who was being towed (on either a wake board or a wake surfboard) behind another large boat (also described as a 42-foot boat with 13 people aboard). Another person was also being towed at the same time. Both fell and went into the water. The 15-year-old girl died as a result of injuries from being struck by another boat. The other boat did not stop and left the area.

The suspected 420 OUTRAGE has been shown on Florida television as being hauled out at a boat ramp and towed away by the authorities, probably to be inspected for signs of hull damage or other evidence of involvement with the death of the swimmer.

An attorney, speaking on behalf of the owner-operator of the suspected 420 OUTRAGE, stated that if her client's boat was involved in the tragic accident, he was unaware of having hit a swimmer, and had "absolutely no idea what happened that day." Reports mention that the operator of the 420 OUTRAGE boat was alone during the time the accident occurred.

In typical fashion, a television station apparently interviewed a person described as "a maritime attorney" who offered a contradictory opinion, stating "I find that [the boat operator could be unaware of striking the swimmer} extremely hard to believe because hitting a person is a large object, you would definitely feel that, especially if you are going at any rate of speed."

My reaction to that "informed" comment was to investigate the weight of a 420 OUTRAGE, which when rigged with engines, fuel, and water has a weight of 29,500-lbs. Add some more weight for crew and gear, and the boat might weigh 30,000-lbs.

In comparison, a small 15-year-old girl might weigh 100-lbs, and when in the water, due to buoyancy of the displaced water, might only have an effective weight of much less. If the swimmer were wearing a floatation device (none has been mentioned) there could be additional buoyancy,

Using a chart of human buoyancy based on body weight available on-line at

https://lifejacketsafety.com/life-jacke ... alculator/

and assuming the young swimmer body-weight was about 100-lbs or 45-kg, the actual weight in the water would be about 2.2-kg or about 5-lbs.

If we look at the ratio of the two masses, an impact on a 30,000-lbs moving boat by a 100-lbs fixed object represents a ratio of the mass of the two objects of 300-1. I don't think that the force exerted onto the 30,000-lbs by the 100-lbs of swimmer who is not in a fixed position but is floating in the water with an effective weight of about 5-lbs is necessarily going to be of such magnitude that the boat operator could immediately differentiate the contact as being unmistakably distinct from the normal forces of impact of the hull with water and waves.

As for examination of the hull, the strength of the Unibond hull construction of the Boston Whaler is probably so strong that there may not be any residual indication of an impact site on hull.

Of course this is a tragic death, and not particularly the sort of notoriety that Boston Whaler would prefer to see. The coverage of this incident seems to be huge, and with First Lady Jill Biden attending the services for the deceased girl, this is a story that is not going away soon.

Jefecinco
Posts: 1612
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:35 pm
Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Re: Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby Jefecinco » Thu May 16, 2024 9:41 am

Given the robust hull construction of the Outrage and the foam core it is entirely possible the operator would not notice a strike to a small human head. Assuming the boat was on plane the ambient noise level would have masked any noise made from the strike. I seriously doubt the operator was aware that the boat had struck anything.
Butch

jimh
Posts: 11869
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby jimh » Thu May 16, 2024 10:53 am

Another aspect of the interaction of the two boats: the towing boat was towing wake boarders, so the inference is that boat must have been creating a wake that was sufficiently large for people to wake-surf on. The presence of a very large wake, perhaps created by intentional augmentation to encourage a large wake such as adding weight at the stern, may have obscured the presence of the two swimmers in wake.

Also, a following boat overtaking the towing boat that had stopped would also be encountering that large wake. If a swimmer happened to be in the trough between two wake waves, their visibility could be obscured. When overtaking a large wake, even in a 42-foot boat, there is going to be some slamming of the hull coming over a crest.

fno
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:01 pm

Re: Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby fno » Fri May 17, 2024 10:09 am

I guess having the wherewithal to own a 420 Outrage also enables the owners to immediately hire attorneys to defend them in the court of public opinion. Using a 42 foot multi million dollar yacht to pull wakeboarders around is the epitome of farm animal stupid but not an uncommon sight in Floridas coastal waters.

jimh
Posts: 11869
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby jimh » Sat May 18, 2024 9:40 am

Another element of the story that has me wondering: how does the helmsman of a 42-boat with 13-people aboard keep an eye on the two teenagers he is towing right behind the boat in its wake? Twelve other people on the boat sounds to me like a lot of potential for distractions.

If the 42-foot boat towing the two wake boarders stopped immediately after they fell off their boards, the distance between the towing boat and the two swimmers now in the water would not be very large.

fno
Posts: 183
Joined: Thu Oct 15, 2015 10:01 pm

Re: Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby fno » Sun May 19, 2024 5:58 pm

I did see a news segment on TV yesterday that indicates that the operator of the vessel that allegedly struck the girl is cooperating with authorities and has indeed hired an attorney. The segment also showed webcam footage of the boat owner(?) tying the boat up at the dock after his outing and further footage of the boat being hauled from the water and towed away. One interesting thing I noticed is that the boat did not look like a 42 foot Boston Whaler. 36' maybe. Time will tell. One thing we must all remember here is that like most accidents the facts coming out in the first few days and weeks can be less than factual. This is why accident investigations take many months while the 24/7 news cycle spits out whatever garbage it can gather overnight in the dark.

jimh
Posts: 11869
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby jimh » Sun May 19, 2024 7:34 pm

FRANK—I used some aerial video to judge the Boston Whaler as its layout seemed to match the 420 OUTRAGE. But perhaps there is a smaller OUTRAGE with a similar layout.

That a police agency hauled out the boat on a triple-axle trailer does seem a bit odd. At 30,000-lbs, the total trailer weight including the trailer would be maybe 33,000-lbs. 0n three axles that would be 11,000-lbs per axle, and 5,500-lbs per tire. Hmm… you may be right.

What other OUTRAGE has that same layout?

Palomino
Posts: 14
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2024 2:17 pm

Re: Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby Palomino » Sun May 19, 2024 9:21 pm

This was a horrific, tragic accident. From what I have seen on the limited news coverage, there isn't enough information other than it seems pretty clear that if it was indeed that Whaler, the Operator had no idea he had struck a person.

I would suspect the girl fell and the towboat was unaware and did not circle back to her right away. Otherwise the Whaler was following a boat towing skiers/wakeboarders which is boating no-no 101, just as being the tow boat Operator and not being aware your skier has fallen is a boating no-no 101.

It is absolutely amazing and disturbing boaters who don't know boating. It is humorous to watch Miami Boat Ramps on social media, or lake boats and pontoon boats going out an inlet into the ocean. I have always thought boats have a purpose. Center Consoles are saltwater fishing, a Ski Nautic or Mastercraft are for skiing, pontoon boats I have never really understood their purpose...and now I see pontoon boats and open bow weekend boats heading out of inlets into rough waters. Who are these people? Now it's a fun past time to hang out at a boat ramp just to watch people who can not even back a trailer down the ramp.

jimh
Posts: 11869
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:25 pm
Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
Contact:

Re: Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby jimh » Mon May 20, 2024 9:53 am

Here are some updates:

At least one media account is now referring to the Boston Whaler boat that struck the swimmer as "the death boat."

The media mentions that the boat was 42-feet long.

In some videos presented in recent media broadcasts the boat looks really long, like a 42-footer, and in some other views it looks shorter. But when the boat looks shorter the video source seems to be from a surveillance camera with a lens that has a very short focal length, which causes significant distortion of the objects in view, and this tends to shorten the apparent length of the boat.

The DETAIL on the Boston Whaler OUTRAGE that tends to confirm the boat was a 420 OUTRAGE is the aft supports for the hard top: only the 420 OUTRAGE has the rather wide aft supports for the hard top, the hard top extends well aft of those supports, and there are multiple rod holders attached to a pipe off the trailing edge of that big support column.

The media has referred to the operator of the "death boat" as being a "millionaire." Speculating about the wealth of the boat owner seems to be intended to influence public opinion about the boat owner in a negative manner. He's not just an ordinary guy--he's a millionaire. This is a bit ironic, as just being a millionaire is not sufficient to have the resources of the owner of the "death boat." In order to have a waterfront home in Coral Gables and own a really big Boston Whaler OUTRAGE you need to be a multi-millionaire.

In contrast, there is no mention of an estimate of the wealth of the family of the young swimmer, but I don't think they are exactly paupers.

Also, the age of boat owner is continually mentioned, as the guy is 78-years-old. The guy's (old) age is constantly juxtaposed against the swimmer's (young) age. Here is a headline:

Video shows 78-year-old boater docking boat alone after crash that killed 15-year-old girl

Again, this seems like an intentional effort to influence public opinion about the two individuals.

Also, "crash" is another chosen word. Crash means "to break violently." The notion of "violence" is again intended to influence opinion.

Image if a 15-year-old from a lower-middle-class family was operating a 15-foot boat and hit a 15-year-old old from another lower-middle-class family. Would there be the same uproar?

Would TV news room helicopters be following the boat as it was towed on the highway with the same sort of coverage as O.J's white FORD Bronco?

Would Jill Biden pay a personal visit to the post-funeral services of the family?

CORRECTION
My comments above about using a triple-axle trailer were incorrect; I just saw another video showing the boat being hauled out, and the trailer has four axles. Reworking the axle and tire loading for 33,000-lbs on four axles and eight tires gives 8.250-lbs per axle and 4,125-lbs per tire. Those are still really very high loading figures. I found one trailer fabricator offering a four-axle trailer with a carrying capacity of 32,000-lbs. Maybe in south Florida trailers like that are more common that in the northern Great Lakes.

Cf.: https://www.xcaliburtrailers.com/10-i-b ... t-trailer/

Jefecinco
Posts: 1612
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2015 6:35 pm
Location: Gulf Shores, AL

Re: Boston Whaler 420 OUTRAGE Involved in Tragic Death

Postby Jefecinco » Tue May 21, 2024 10:10 am

I'm often disgusted by the press, particularly the television press. It seems their goal is not so much to inform as to incite in order to increase viewership. The Boston Whaler owner at the center of this accident is being pilloried because he is wealthy and elderly.
Butch