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UPDATE: Richard Neff Killed In Boat Accident After Yacht and Sportfisher Crashed Off The Coast of San Diego By Imperial Beach

Oct 31, 2018

Richard Neff Accident: 66-Year-Old Victim From San Clemente Died In Boating Accident When 332-foot yacht Attessa IV Collided With Prowler, a 65-foot Sportfisher

 IMPERIAL BEACH, CALIFORNIA (October 30, 2018) A 66-year-old victim from San Clemente identified as Richard Neff has tragically died in a boat accident off the San Diego Coast when a yacht collided with a sportfisher.

The boat crash took place around 8:00 p.m. Crew on the Yacht alerted the U.S Coast Guard to the crash. There was extensive damage to the Prowler sportfisher and numerous people were injured.

The victim was on the Prowler when he fell and struck his head. A helicopter was called to the scene of the boat collision in order to airlift Richard Neff to the hospital.  He was taken to the US San Diego Medical Center in order to receive treatment. But he was tragically pronounced dead around 10:24 p.m.

Seventeen passengers in total were transported back to land by a 45 foot response boat. There is an active investigation into what caused the boat accident.

Common Causes of Boat Accidents

Boats are popular all over the world and are one of the driving forces behind the world’s economy. In fact, it has been estimated that 500 million people are directly or indirectly employed by the fishing industry. However, boats present a number of unique hazards. In 2015 alone, the US Coast guard estimated that there were 4,158 accidents that resulted in 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries. Here are just a few of the most common reasons that boat accidents occur.

  • Operator inattention is a leading factor in crashes. Our oceans and seas are quite vast and open compared to modern roads. It’s easy for a boat operator to be lulled into a false sense of security. It’s important to pay attention at all times for wind, weather and other boats.

  • Excessive speed can be even more dangerous on a boat than in a car. Water does not provide boats with the same level of traction that cars get with roads. Accordingly, most waterways have speed limits which should be obeyed.

  • Mechanical failures with a boat can lead to serious injury or death. It is the responsibility of the boat operator to make sure that their boat is in good repair.

Boat accidents can leave victims with serious injuries or even death. A wrongful death attorney can evaluate the specific facts of your case and let you know where you stand in terms of your rights.

Liability In Boat Accidents

There are a number of entities that may face civil liability for the tragic death of  Richard Neff. Boat operators have a responsibility to operate their vessels in a reasonably safe manner. There are laws regarding the right of way in boat operation. It’s important that drivers of commercial and non-commercial vessels become familiar with these rules. Depending on the location of a boat accident, state laws of federal maritime law may apply.

There are a number of factors that will determine if a boat accident falls under federal justicition. Legal professionals will need to use the locality test, a two-pronged nexus test as decide whether or not an accident occurred in “navigable waterways.” Victims of boat accidents or their family may have the ability to file a claim for damages including lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering.

Getting A Police Report After A Boat Accident

We at West Coast Trial Lawyers extend our condolences to the family of  Richard Neff as they are going through such a difficult time. It is our hope that there is a thorough investigation into what happened. Measures should be put in place to make sure a similar accident does not happen in the future. Anyone that may have seen the accident should contact the U.S. Coast Guard for the sake of all of those affected.

If you or someone that you love has been injured in a boat accident you may have legal recourse. Our personal injury attorneys can take steps to investigate your case and make sure that your rights are being protected. We’ve been helping families across California for over 40 years. Whether you are trying to get a police report about an accident or you just have questions about your rights we are here for you. You can reach us anytime at (888) 888-9285.


  1. Fox 5. San Clemente man killed when yacht, sportfishing boat crash. October 30, 2018
  2. Findlaw. Recreational Boat Accidents and Liability. 2018
  3. Randy Vance. 11 Tips for Avoiding Boat Accidents. 2017
  4. GLA. The Top 10 Causes of Boating Accidents in RI and MA. 2018

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