Several passengers in the bow pulpit of a 106-ft whale-watching vessel were injured when a large wave was struck & threw them backwards.
Injuries ranged from cuts and bruises to a broken patella (knee) and jaw. Although there were many other passengers on board at the time, only the passengers standing in the pulpit were injured.
The USCG investigation concluded that:
• Proper verbal briefings regarding unfavorable weather conditions were made to the passengers; however, some passengers had disregarded these safety warnings. Pulpit Area BOW RIDING IN HEAVY WEATHER Don’t get bounced!
• The vessel did not have a policy which outlined operational conditions as to when the bow ar- ea and pulpit should be vacated.