Those of you from the Charleston area may remember the news reports about the collision between the passenger vessel THRILLER 09 and a Coast Guard hard bottom inflatable in Charleston Harbor in December 2009.
On the evening of December 5, 2009, the THRILLER 09 left Ripley Light Marina carrying passengers for a “sleigh ride” tour of Charleston Harbor. That night, the THRILLER 09 and a Coast Guard hard bottom inflatable collided at a fairly high rate of speed against the backdrop of the Charleston lights. Six of the THRILLER 09’s passengers were treated for injuries. The National Transportation Safety Board launched an investigation into the cause of this accident and determined that “the probable cause of the collision was  the inadequate lookout by the  crewmembers of both vessels, given the speed at which they were being operated and the nighttime conditions.”
The report and determination highlights the fact that safe operation and “keeping a proper lookout” can mean different things depending upon the conditions in which your vessel is operating.

Read the full report from the NTSB here:


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From our law office in Mount Pleasant, John Hughes Cooper, P.C. handles admiralty law and maritime law cases throughout coastal South Carolina (the Lowcountry), the Pee Dee region, communities surrounding Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie, and elsewhere in the Southeast. The communities we serve include Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island, Georgetown, Beaufort, Hilton Head, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Edisto Island, Walterboro, Pawley's Island, Murrells Inlet, Little River, Conway, Columbia, Florence, Charleston County, Georgetown County, Berkeley County, Beaufort County, Horry County, Jasper County and Colleton County.

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