Recording artist Sean Kingston was injured in a Memorial Day weekend jet ski accident in Miami in which the vehicle he and a passenger were riding struck a major bridge connecting Palm Island with the MacArthur Causeway.

“About 6 p.m., the hip-hop and reggae singer slammed into the Palm Island Bridge, which connects the MacArthur Causeway to Palm and Hibiscus islands,” The Miami Herald’s Kathleen McGrory reports. “Both he and the passenger were thrown into the water.”

Kingston’s life vest came off during the crash, causing him to sink below the surface of the water after he was thrown from the vehicle. He was rescued by nearby boaters. Kingston suffered a broken jaw, fractured wrist and water in his lungs, but is expected to make a full recovery.

Cassandra Sanchez, Kingston’s passenger on the vehicle, tells that she and Kingston were racing another jet ski. “Both jet skis pulled out of the dock at the same time and we were going so fast we just blasted past them. When we turned a corner and crashed … they were so far behind us they didn’t even see us crash.”

Personal Watercrafts (PWCs) – those, like jet skis, that are designed to be operated by a person or persons sitting, standing or kneeling on the craft rather than within the confines of a hull – were the second most common type of vessel involved in reported accidents in 2009, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. PWC accidents resulted in 848 injuries and 42 deaths nationwide. Roughly one-third of those deaths were caused by drowning.

The National Association of Rescue Divers warns that jet ski operators should “keep a lookout for other boats and water craft, especially sail boats,” and “[s]tay at least 100 feet away.”

Under Florida law, each person operating, riding on or being towed behind a personal watercraft must wear an approved non-inflatable personal flotation device. Furthermore, maneuvering a personal watercraft by weaving through congested vessel traffic, jumping the wake of another vessel unreasonably close or when visibility around the vessel is obstructed, or swerving at the last possible moment to avoid collision is classified as reckless operation of a vessel.

Born in Miami and raised in Jamaica, Kingston’s first single, “Beautiful Girls,” topped the Billboard charts for three weeks in 2007. The singer is reportedly working on a new album and recently toured with pop superstar Justin Bieber.

In early May, a jet ski accident in the Bahamas left a 27-year-old Florida woman dead and another man injured. In April, a 14-year-old girl had part of her leg amputated after she was injured when two personal watercrafts collided on Lake Gibson, just north of Lakeland.

The South Florida jet ski accident lawyers at Anidjar & Levine pride ourselves in responsive, diligent and cost-effective representation. The firm’s client-centered approach, combined with vast personal injury experience, will help you to safely and confidently navigate the judicial system’s waters after a jet ski or boating accident.

If you or a loved one were involved in a watercraft accident in South Florida, please take advantage of a free consultation offered by the accident attorneys at Anidjar & Levine. You can contact the firm’s Fort Lauderdale offices at (800) 747-3733, or submit an on-line “Contact Us” form.

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