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Old     (wakejunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       06-15-2006, 9:01 AM Reply   
Saw this billboard on my way to work and immediately took notice.

"20 Deaths and still counting"

I had to see what it was pertaining to so, I went to the web page to have a look. It's regarding the death of this person's son from CO while teak surfing and tring to make some changes to the ski boat industry and informing the public.

First off, I have to state that it's a terrible thing to loose any loved ones and I totally feel for this person.

However, I have a couple of issues.

Reading through the web page, couple of things I didn't like about what this person has and is doing. He has won a wrongful death suit against Calabria for his son's death. Not Calabria's fault in my mind. Who would think that breathing exhaust fumes would be good for you? Also, there is no mention of his son wearing a lifevest. Almost sounds like if he was, he'd be suing the lifevest company.

Second, this person is proposing that skiboat companies put catalytic converters on ski boats to "fix" the problem. I can understand creating an anti teaksurf law but, catalytic converters are surely not going to elimate the CO problem. If you hang out back there when the engine is running you're going to be exposed to CO no matter what you do. Side exhaust will help the problem but, you're still be exposed to some levels of CO. This really not a solution.

What really needs to be done is educating the public. Forcing boaters to take safety courses in both driving a boat and safe operation.

Get the Grip you Deserve
Old     (boarder_x)      Join Date: Mar 2006       06-15-2006, 9:13 AM Reply   
Sent an email to him.

Good job putting a life vest on your 11 yo son. 12 and under are
required to wear them. Good job taking accountability for your actions.
The American way. When you do something dumb, sue someone else.

Good job.


Old     (taylormade)      Join Date: Jun 2001       06-15-2006, 9:49 AM Reply   
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       06-15-2006, 9:58 AM Reply   
"...I have since learned that this boat emitted it's exhaust right under the swim platform..."

We're obviously up against a genius here.
Old    mendo247            06-15-2006, 9:58 AM Reply   
"The american way.When you do something dumb sue someone else" this is so true..

definetly sounds like he wasnt wearing a lifevest.. if this is the case, thats just unexcusable! the fact remains accidents happen.. its great that hes trying to spread the word about safety and CO, but sueing someone is not going to make anything better!
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       06-15-2006, 10:01 AM Reply   

I have written two letters to the Chronicle and Koretz about this idioc crusade. I equate this to putting restrictions on cars if a kid was injured bumper surfing behind a car. I have no idea how a jury could have made any award, the injuries in this particular are only the fault of the boat operator's nobody else. Now these idiots want to start messing with out sport. One offshoot from this is that you can no longer get a shower from Nautique.

In reality they should have locked the parents up for child endangerment.

Sorry for the rant but this is one of my hot buttons.
Old     (marknjenn)      Join Date: Feb 2005       06-15-2006, 10:06 AM Reply   
Shot the guy an email:
While I agree with you that people need to be educated about the dangers of CO poisoning, I do not agree that boat manufactures should be held responsible. The dangers of teak surfing have been known about for many years. The users of consumer items must assume personal responsibility, like using life jackets on children while enjoying the lake and not standing behind the exhaust of any vehicle. Cat systems do not remove enough CO to make it safe to stand on the back of a boat, any boat. You seemed to have targeted the inboard industry, however any boat can be dangerous if you don't use common sence. Nice to see another person abusing our legal system and trying to get the government to regulate stupidity.
Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-15-2006, 10:06 AM Reply   
Rob I with ya.

But even if he was to say he was wrong and he was uneducated and he acted stupid and on and on that's not going to bring his kid back or make it ok. What happened on that day along with all the rest that have passed were an accident.

I learned of CO poisoning along with many other fo-pa's in regards to boating safety and procedure here on W/W and from a friend . What about the thousand's of other people that donít know about W/W or donít have a educated friend to show them the ropeís. So called Wallyís that have no clue.

At least he is trying to do something with his lawsuit money to try and change or educate. I agree with Chris a cattalic converter is not going to fix the problem and the same is true with side exhaust. IMO Education is key.

I would be behind this guy 100% if his cause were centered towards a boaterís safety class. Thatís go's over all the Do's and Doníts of boating . Not a "Do Not use a hair dryer in the shower sticker" type of fix. His website pushing towards the cattalic converter's or some other type of quick fix is not going to do it. IMO if this guy really wanted to make a change he would shift his cause towards Education. I know, I along with many others here would appreciate a few more educated boaters on the waterway's and not some sticker and a quick fix thatís not going to solve the problem.

Old     (auto)      Join Date: Aug 2002       06-15-2006, 10:07 AM Reply   
Pure genius, where did you think the exhaust went. like the old saying, common sense is not all that common, case in point.
Old     (garret_s)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-15-2006, 10:08 AM Reply   
"Never did it even cross my mind that the killer could be carbon monoxide being emitted from the boat's exhaust ports."

Wow. Have you ever been around an automobile...ever? I could have told you this was dangerous back when I was 5 years old...

So, lets count the things that could have prevented this:

-No teak draggin
-Life Jacket
-A bit of accountability as an adult

Its really sad to see it happen, but come on now...
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-15-2006, 10:20 AM Reply   
The claim that there is enough CO to "produce death in seconds" seems misleading to me. From what I have gathered the CO levels cause the person to pass out and drown. I'm curious what the truth is behind this. Also I absolutely do not agree with trying to find the manufacturer at fault. As tragic of an accident as this is, Calabria didn't fail to keep a life jacket on his son, and Calabria doesn't promote teak surfing. I agree that education might be the key, however there are plenty of people that go through traffic safety to get a drivers license and we all know how many bone headed drivers are still out there. Wallys will be Wallys, but boaters education might lessen the number of tragic accidents like this.
Old     (cyclonecj)      Join Date: Jul 2001       06-15-2006, 10:57 AM Reply   
All it will result in is another sticker on the transom drafted by a boat company lawyer.
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       06-15-2006, 11:01 AM Reply   
Psyclone, it already has... You should see the crap that came in the mail with my boat registration this year. Two big ugly lawfully mandated stickers for my boat.
Old     (boarder_x)      Join Date: Mar 2006       06-15-2006, 11:04 AM Reply   
I got one in the mail a few weeks after this happened. They asked me to put it on the back of my boat. Had a pic of a teak surfer, with the red circle around it, and the line through it. Then something about danger. I figure I'll give it to the person when I sell the boat. However, I don't need the sticker, because I know it's bad.
Old    thug_hunter            06-15-2006, 11:05 AM Reply   
I'm not sure I understand how Calabria or any boat manufacturer can be held responsible. I'd be more willing to understand if a case was made against any of the wakesurf board manufacturers, but not a boat company. I'm not saying that should even be a case, but for Calabria should not be responsible.

Local law enforcement should file criminal charges on the dad for neglect as he is the most responsible for the death.
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-15-2006, 11:11 AM Reply   
I done think I ever recieved that sticker in the mail, lol.
Old     (dizzyj)      Join Date: Jul 2003       06-15-2006, 12:10 PM Reply   
he should sue god for making water dangerous
Old     (rich_g)      Join Date: May 2003       06-15-2006, 12:30 PM Reply   
Don't forget that this guy lost a kid. There is no way he can be objective or rational about this issue. He has probably taken this up as a cause to deal with his own grief. Just keep that in mind if you decide to communicate with him through his website.
Old    vanski            06-15-2006, 12:57 PM Reply   
Not intended to downgrade your comment in any way Rich, but it seems like culpability for his actions is not in this person's mind. He is willing to blame anyone else except himself. It takes a responsible person to admit they were wrong, and obviously it showed that he was not responsible. It was his actions alone that caused his child to die. I feel bad for what happened to his son, but I don't have an ounce of pitty for him.
Old     (tlb)      Join Date: Feb 2003       06-15-2006, 1:30 PM Reply   
Thanks for posting this Chris,
Someone should e-mail a link to this thread to this MORON..
I remember when this was in the news and remember being suprised that he wasn't arrested..
This was a Drowning, and could have happened if the kid was hit in the head by debris floating in the lake, and was preventable by wearing a life jacket..
I'm with you Van, I don't have any pity for him either..

(Message edited by tlb on June 15, 2006)
Old     (madchild1)      Join Date: Mar 2005       06-15-2006, 1:32 PM Reply   
i hope the "victim's" father gets co poisoning . there is no room for @$$H0l3$ like that on the water.
Old     (rich_g)      Join Date: May 2003       06-15-2006, 1:42 PM Reply   
Van, I agree with everything you said. A couple of other posts said they sent an email to the dad. I'm just saying show some sensitivity. This guy and the boat owner were obviously very uninformed, and it cost them dearly. I'm sure that privately he has felt plenty of guilt.

He now has a campaign to prevent this from happening to others. I wouldn't take his "public" statements at face value. I also think education is the way to go, not cat converters or boat mfg regulations.
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-15-2006, 1:42 PM Reply   
Old    wingnut337            06-15-2006, 1:50 PM Reply   
I dont believe it... I'm going teak surfing. then if I live Im going to run my truck engine inside my garage. If I die I want someone to sue Home depot because I was in my home when I died and they should take the blame because their name has home in it.
Old     (dizzyj)      Join Date: Jul 2003       06-15-2006, 2:12 PM Reply   
actually, I would believe that the guy is doing everything possible he can to point the finger elsewhere so he doesnt get charged himself.

He also must not care a whole lot, or didnt get a big settlement cause the website sucks.

No, I dont feel for they guy, he killed his own kid. from the page:

"And then in an instant he was gone. We dove in and searched,"..."Never did it even cross my mind that the killer could be carbon monoxide being emitted from the boat's exhaust ports."

er, sure the killer wasnt water?
Old     (tomcalabria)      Join Date: Feb 2006       06-15-2006, 2:19 PM Reply   
I lived in Europe for a long time and in most of the western European countries their you have to get a sort of a boats driver's License before you can go out on the water (pwc are included in this). Also in Europe you are responsible for your own stupid actions. I hate this trend in the USA to make everyone else accountable for your own stupid actions.

He and the boat owner however should have been charged for there obvious lack of supervision of children that could not know better. If you run over someone with your boat, should the boat manufacturer be at fault for your stupidity because they did not tell you that running over someone is bad for their health.

I think that what he is doing to make people more aware of the dangers of C02 is truly a good thing and he should be praised for this action. I also think that it is a good idea to have removable stickers on the boats when they are delivered to the new boat owners. As I was surprised to find out how many boat owners have no idea of the true dangers of CO2 behind a boat. The answer is truly wear a life jacket and force people to go through an educational boating class (I did). We would have so fewer problems on the water and at the docks if we did.
Old     (mammoth)      Join Date: Apr 2005       06-15-2006, 2:19 PM Reply   
Rich, sympathy for the guy is fine, I feel some too.

Unfortunately, like you said, his situation means that he cannot be rational or objective. The problem is that he is trying to impose his own emotional reaction on others through policy changes. Cat's, or another sticker on my boat won't make up for the accident, but HE wants to force ME to put one on. If all he was doing was spreading the word, I would agree with you. He's taking things a step further with lawsuits and legislation. He deserves the criticism as well as the sympathy.
Old     (stephan)      Join Date: Nov 2002       06-15-2006, 3:22 PM Reply   
When I was a kid I got CO poisoning, we didn't know what it was then but luckily I didn't feel right and came on the boat. The next 3-4 hours were a hallucination filled nightmare. My vision was gone, I could hear sounds but couldn't gather my thoughts or anything. It didn't help that it was 110 at Lake Havasu. After hearing all these reports I can't believe how lucky I got. Cut the guy some slack his arguement is not going anywhere.
Old     (flux)      Join Date: Jun 2003       06-15-2006, 3:27 PM Reply   
This would not be the first time, nor will it be the last, that a grieving parent took up a cause against an unjustice that resulted in their child's death. Many do it, they feel the need, and they hope that they may save other children's lives and spare their parent's the same grief.

Unfortunately, the death could have been avoided with one simple thought and asking oneself "what could go wrong"??

We don't even let the kids swim out of our site at the lake without vests.
Old     (seattle)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-15-2006, 3:54 PM Reply   
Proud graduate of Power Squadron here. I firmly believe anyone who owns a boat should have a certificate.
Old     (tomcalabria)      Join Date: Feb 2006       06-15-2006, 4:54 PM Reply   
OK, it is so far. Tonight they interview this guy and his wife today on local Sacramento News. Of course the news report:

"A couple on a mission to change boat design"
Old     (tomcalabria)      Join Date: Feb 2006       06-15-2006, 4:57 PM Reply   
KCRA 3 at 5:00 PM Sacramento local station
Old     (krbaugh)      Join Date: Mar 2002       06-15-2006, 5:02 PM Reply   
No parent should have to outlive there child!

However When will we all stand up and say enough!
We are all paying for this guy being stuck on stupid!
It does not matter how many times you got away with
Stupid, it is still STUPID!
Old    mendo247            06-15-2006, 5:13 PM Reply   
let us non sacramaneto folk know if a life jacket is ever brought up in the interview..
Old     (tomcalabria)      Join Date: Feb 2006       06-15-2006, 5:34 PM Reply   
Was not brought up and did not mention that the parents and boat owner were very negligent. Just blamed the boat manufacturer for not telling them about the dangers of CO2.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-15-2006, 6:56 PM Reply   
Don't get me started...I think it was said best 'when you do something dumb, sue someone else.'

The boat manufacturer did not tell me that the propeller could cut my leg off. Do I need a warning sticker for that? It has happened a lot more than carbon monoxide poisoning. People who play in the water and do not wear life vests are taking chances. Perhaps this guy's son would have been like Big Heavy (stephan) above had he been wearing a life vest. Several hours of nausea and hallucinations. But once he was on the bottom of the lake, you can never know.

There is a link to a press release from Indmar stating that they have a workable catalytic converter that will be on every 2007 5.7 liter engine. Why won't that help?

I wonder if some of the deaths were from houseboat generator exhaust? Teak surfing seems inherently stupid to me, but swimming around a houseboat with the generator running could easily slip someone's mind.

(Message edited by talltigeguy on June 15, 2006)
Old    eos            06-15-2006, 8:29 PM Reply   
As a parent my heart bleads for this guy. I might not agree with him 100% (I agree education is the key), but also believe cars continue to become safer/better and boats seem to get more expensive.
Old     (bwellsusmc)      Join Date: May 2006       06-15-2006, 8:31 PM Reply   
I'm a new boat owner, just purchased a Mooomba LSV. My wife and son like laying on the rear deck sometimes while the boat is moving. Of course my son is required to wear his life jacket just by default of being in the boat. Is this advisable considering the CO output? Or should they not be up there period?
Old     (kylet)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-15-2006, 8:59 PM Reply   
isnt it a given not to teak surf? everyone i have ever talked to about boats knows better than this, no matter how much of a boat person that they are, or are not. you can smell the exhaust sometimes when sitting on the rear sunpad of most boats. much less when dragging right in the path of it..... genious...
A cat converter wont make it any safer, as i recall you can still kill yourself in a garage in a new low emissions car....
Old     (tlb)      Join Date: Feb 2003       06-15-2006, 10:04 PM Reply   
This subject has been eating at me all day..
I just sent this guy an e-mail thanking him for helping to make the new model boats safer for my family to teaksurf behind..
I glad we won't need any of those bulky life vests anymore now that the co2 danger will be gone soon.. whew!!
Old     (boarder_x)      Join Date: Mar 2006       06-15-2006, 10:17 PM Reply   
tlb LOL!!

Brett, you are moving. The CO comes up slowly through the water. CO also weighs more than air, so it rests right on top of the water, where it is much denser (Teak surfing it comes straight out of the exhast, right into your face, and then stays there). I would say you are ok, but if you are worried about it, there's the Fresh Air Exhaust thing people are buying. Supposedly it is awesome.
Old     (rocketman)      Join Date: Feb 2003       06-15-2006, 11:12 PM Reply   
I remember seeing this in a thread a couple of years ago. I tried using the search option (teak surfing, CO deaths) and nothing showed up. I guess I'm not using the search right.

Anybody want to try? Somebody posted the original article, so it would be good for everybody to read that. I'm disappointed that he won the law suit. I think there needs to be a warning sticker that says stupid people not allowed.
Old     (superairdawg)      Join Date: May 2003       06-16-2006, 3:56 AM Reply   
Isn't anyone irritated that he's targeting ski boats? Don't regular boats produce CO also and thus, shouldn't they be mandated to use cats too?

His argument is flawed. Agreed with tlb, it's teak surfing that is the stupid thing. His campaign should be directed elsewhere.
Old     (garret_s)      Join Date: Apr 2006       06-16-2006, 7:38 AM Reply   
Joe: Not many people teak drag behind i/o's (or live to tell about it)
Old    deltahoosier            06-16-2006, 7:42 AM Reply   

Do not let your family play on the swim deck with the engine running. CO poisoning also builds up. Let say you get exposed for 5 minutes and then go away for 10 minutes, does not mean it is out of your system. Just like Stephan mentioned about him, it was hours. So, you can keep building up a dose during a period of time during the day.
Old     (l1spoogy)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-16-2006, 9:15 AM Reply   

Here is the link for the previous discussion from a couple of years ago.

This guy was on our local news last night. Unreal that he is not being held responsible for this. How many laws was he breaking by allowing his son to do this.

On his website he said he allowed his son to do this 150 to 200 times in the past. Then in the next paragraph he says he learned after the fact that the exhaust was under the swim platform. Come on! Your on a boat that many times and your unaware that the exhaust is under the platform!

Sad that his son died but the only one responsible for that is him.

Old     (wake4fun)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-16-2006, 9:49 AM Reply   
I thought there was a law against (and you could be cited) being on the swim step when the boat was running. My brother got cited at Naci for having my sister in law on the swim step putting her ski on while the boat was moving.
Losing a child is awful but blaming someone else is not going to bring them back. I have never let my kids play around the swim step but my fear was mostly of the prop not exhaust.
Old     (tomcalabria)      Join Date: Feb 2006       06-16-2006, 11:18 AM Reply   
I believe that the law came about after the death of his son and the efforts that he made or? I still can't believe that Calabria gave this guy a settlement when he and the boat owner were so negligent.

I will start hanging people from the tower and take Calabria to court. There is no sticker telling me that hanging people from the tower is dangerous to their health.
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       06-16-2006, 11:34 AM Reply   
If you hang people from the tower you can sue CC too because they have the patent for the tower.
Old     (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       06-16-2006, 11:40 AM Reply   
If the boat is MOVING, you have to be within the gunnels, but I doubt there is a law about it running yet.
Old     (joshugan)      Join Date: Apr 2005       06-16-2006, 11:51 AM Reply   
My money says that 80% of the people on here talking smack about that guy would sue the boat co. if you lost a loved one. I'm not saying from teak surfing but if you somehow had a loved one die and a lawyer started talking to you, you'd probably sue. (The lawyer will do a great job convinving you that the boat co.'s knew there were problems and didn't correct them, resulting in the death.)

I worked at a law firm that defended boat co.'s and most of the time the boat co.'s settled rather than pay the court costs.

I've seen complaints that the open bow should have been deeper, should have had more places to hold on. There should have been a prop guard in place. There should have been bigger or more warnings against power turns in the boat and operator's manual.

One of the cases involved a student athlete who swam around near the end of the boat when it was running. There was some alcohol involved but not much and she and some other friends decided to swim back to shore. The effects of the CO did not hit her until they were swimming and she dissapeared.

It is heartbreaking to see pictures of an alive happy and going places young woman and then see the autoposy photos.

Another case involved a child falling overboard and being run over during a power turn.

I think the guy suing about the CO is misguided. But when you lose a loved one it really messes you up bad. Rather than just bagging on him I hope that anyone who reads this will be that much more careful while at the lake. We're all here because we love boating and wakeboarding but it only takes one small mistake to turn the best part of your life into hell.

Since seeing those cases I have treated my boat with a lot more reverence and discretion. I have just as much fun as before but I lay off on the crazy power turns and other "jokes" we used to do with the boat.
Old     (malibuboarder75)      Join Date: Jan 2004       06-16-2006, 12:34 PM Reply   
I think suing Calabria was his way of venting for his son's death. Any parent would become a little irrational from their loved one dying.
Old     (liquidmx)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-16-2006, 2:16 PM Reply   
I wonder how my grandparents generation got by without suing each other? Wow that must have been some lifestyle. I dont doubt for a second that being in his shoes would be the most difficult thing in the world, but accidents DO happen. God forbid people dig into their own emotions and deal with their tragedies! It seems to me that most people these days choose to deal with tragedy in a monetary matter rather than an emotional matter. "yah my son died, but $500,000 will make it better"? Why cant people rise above the whole money thing and actually search within themselves to find an acceptance for what has happened. I am so sick of hearing about people's inability to deal with their own personal emotions and drag other people into the picture (aside from friends, since thats what they are there for: emotional help).
Old     (sjmedic)      Join Date: May 2004       06-16-2006, 2:59 PM Reply   
Firstly, my condolences to you and your family. A tragic loss to all of us who enjoy the water. I cannot imagine feeling the loss that you have experienced, and not desire a change in regulations to protect others.
I would like to start by suggesting the solution to safer boating is through education. While I agree that manufacturers hold some accountability for the safety of their product, water sports are intrinsically dangerous by themselves. Due diligence on the part of the driver/operator, and vigilance of parents cannot be underemphasized. This being said, I would like to hear YOUR side of the story. I have read in Wakeworld, that it is apparent your son was not wearing a this the case? I would also suggest that it is common knowledge that most, if not all, inboard boats have the exhaust under the swimstep, on the transom. Were you not aware of this? It is the responsibility of the driver/operator to insure proper attire and safe actions by the participants. I fail to see how suing the manufacturer is any consolation, and would have any impact on the sport besides making the boats we enjoy more expensive, more regulated, and given the onus of "dangerous".
While I understand your grief, and see this recent crusade as a remedy for your pain and anguish, I believe it could be a more constructive approach to enhance safety, responsibility, and the requirement of owner/operators to understand their equipment fully. I am sure that if you knew then what you know now, this incident would not have ocurred, and we could have not suffered the loss of your most precious gift...your son.
Please consider my message, and feel free to write to me if you desire.

Howard Morton
FE/Paramedic, San Jose Fire Department

This is the letter I sent to Mike Farr. Hopefully it get some thoughts going.
Old     (bdavis)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-16-2006, 6:46 PM Reply   
"The American way. When you do something dumb, sue someone else."

I agree. I have two boys 3 and 5. This man is responsible for his sons death. I have contempt for the father and the lawyers involved, and the boat owner.

Old     (massattitude)      Join Date: Mar 2003       06-16-2006, 9:27 PM Reply   
I hate to be rude But
If I allowed to let my kids hang onto the back of my truck and drove down the street with them behind on a skate board.
If they fell down and got ran over,would I be able to sue Ford.
They did say it was a good tow vehicle.
Old     (zacky)      Join Date: Apr 2003       06-17-2006, 12:34 AM Reply   
Here are a couple of quotes from today's Sacramento Bee, front page of the metro section...

"He was not wearing a life jacket."

(He initially assumed) "... that the ski boat manufacturers would be eager to fix thier products in order to prevent further tragedies."

"If he can't pressure ski boat companies to clean up carbon monoxide emissions..., he may buy a ski boat company and do it himself."

The article also mentions the father settled the case with Calabria for $850,000. The boy's mother settled her case for $150,000.


(Message edited by zacky on June 17, 2006)
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-17-2006, 6:29 AM Reply   
I totally agree that the parent needs to take personal responsibility for his actions. I also think that product liability laws are such that folks can sue manufacturers for their own stupidity. There was a class action law suit that was dismissed a year or so ago, regarding this particular liability issue. However, there is a point in here. The parent is saying - manufacturers just install catalytic converters and prevent a senseless death. Or what about fresh air exhaust - available from the manufacturer which would NOT require any retooling by a manufacturer. What would that add to the retail cost of a boat if every manufacturer offered it? $200-$250? What would it cost the manufacturer, half that amount? IMO, there are clear altrnatives and you'll never convince me that the margins on a $50-60,000 ski boat are so tight that you can't install FAE when the boat is being manufactured. NOR will you convinc me that it's CHEAPER for Calibria to pay the combined $1 mil settlement than install FAE (or something similar) on each boat it manufacturers (and guess what kiddies, wanna guess who Calabria is passing that settlement cost onto? :-) ) So if manufacturers KNOW CO is an issue, AND they know some none-too-bright people buy boats AND there is a clear, relatively cheap way to fix it...why don't they? Eventually we'll see catalytic converters in boats, in fact, I do believe that in CA it's a requirement on new boats sold in '07 (but don't quote me on that date). Just my 2 cents.
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-17-2006, 6:53 AM Reply   
Shoot, I wasn't trying to intimate that Calabria was out-of-pocket the $1 mil, I'm sure it was covered by some form of general liability policy, just that there would be SOME cost to the manufacturer AND that there are no doubt alternatives during the manufactruring process that would be cheaper. Ok, NOW flame me! :-)
Old     (yooper)      Join Date: Jun 2002       06-17-2006, 7:03 AM Reply   
Here is the email I sent him:

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your son. That is certainly a tragedy no parent should ever have to endure. I have two small children (2 and 3 1/2), and we spend alot of time on our inboard ski boat.

Although I am sympathetic to your situation, I don't agree with your campaign. Everyone needs to be responsible, and make sure that the activities they are engaging in are as safe as is practical. The dangers of teak surfing are VERY well known and well documented among ski boat owners. The benefits of wearing a life vest are also well known. If you choose to engage in a well known, risky activity, it IS NOT the boat manufacturers fault. People who sue others because of their own carelessness, irresponsibility or simply as a result of being uneducated, is an alarming trend in the U.S., and the scary thing is, settlements get paid out!

Please, in the future, GET EDUCATED about the activities you choose to engage in. Just like the person that sued McDonalds when they got burned by hot coffee....... Yes. The coffee is hot. Yes. There are many dangers involved in boating and water recreation. Learn the dangers. Respect the situation. Be Safe.

Once again, I'm terribly sorry to hear about your son. Please...... turn your efforts towards education, not an attack on boat manufacturers.
Old     (joe_788)      Join Date: Aug 2003       06-17-2006, 7:40 AM Reply   
Somebody should send a respectful email to KCRA letting them know how completely bogus and one sided their news story was. I caught part of it that night when I got off the water, and it made me angry. They never mentioned that the kid was not wearing a life jacket and drowned. They just kept saying the exhaust fumes killed him.

It just makes me sick.

Old     (joe_788)      Join Date: Aug 2003       06-17-2006, 7:44 AM Reply   
Here's a link to the story. They claim Carbon Monoxide killed his son.

Old     (sup208)      Join Date: May 2004       06-17-2006, 8:10 AM Reply   
I just sent this to KCRA

Regarding Mike Farr and the carbon monoxide/boating story. While agree the story is tragic, the father is as much or more to blame than the boat manufacturer. I have two sons in their teens and they have been around the water all of their lives with boats, PWCs, etc. They NEVER were allowed to be on the back of the boat when it was running and they ALWAYS wore a life jacket. This topis has created quite a stir on one of the local forum websites related to wakeboarding and boating. Everyone agrees that the event was unfortunate and almost everyone agrees that the father was at fault for not having his son weara life jacket not the boat manufacturer. Catalytic Converters on boats aren't going to solve the problem, fact is it is still exhaust from and engine and let's not forget the fact that there is also a prop right below the swin step that can do some damage. My 2 cents worth.

Sorry but certain things you just don't do and letting kids on swim deck while the boat is running much less moving is BAD.
Old     (mike_gilbert)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-17-2006, 9:19 AM Reply   
I like how the other boaters interviewed on that clip were saying the same things we were, that you cant blame boat manf for your own mistakes etc.
That guy is a douche
Old     (surfdad)      Join Date: Sep 2004       06-17-2006, 9:59 AM Reply   
Am I the only one that thinks that the boat owner is the real jerk? Would anyone on here allow someone - as Mr. Farr claims his best friend did - to teak surf behind your boat? Personally, I think THAT guy needs to be neutered to prevent reproduction.
Old     (zacky)      Join Date: Apr 2003       06-17-2006, 10:19 AM Reply   
"Son, put on your life jacket. I don't care if (insert boat owner's name here) teaksurfs without one. You are going to wear one."

Would have solved that problem.

Is there anybody out there who still thinks the son would have died had he been wearing a life jacket?

(Message edited by zacky on June 17, 2006)
Old     (wake4fun)      Join Date: Oct 2005       06-17-2006, 10:34 AM Reply   
I wonder what boat company he is going to buy for 850,000.
Old     (talltigeguy)      Join Date: Sep 2003       06-17-2006, 10:35 AM Reply   
I mentioned way early in this thread that his website has a link to an Indmar press release stating that all of their 5.7 liter engines will have catalytic converters in 07. Some of you have stated that it won't work...why not?

For a million bucks, Calabria can do a lot of stuff to fix the problem.

What is seriously stupid is that now that teaksurfing is illegal in California, you still may have some further regulation like having catalytic converters, to make an illegal activity more safe. Our government has gotten good lately at making illegal activities more safe. I also think California should make the overpass signs on the freeway more safe - I almost fell off and killed myself while spraypainting my gangsta logo up there.

I agree with you, Jeff. What a jerk.

Another issue that some of us have not considered is that a properly tuned boat does not put out that much carbon monoxide. A normal engine with adequate air intake puts out carbon Dioxide, which is not going to hurt you, as long as you have a normally functioning set of lungs and even minimal ventilation. When the boat is not getting enough oxygen, then carbon monoxide is produced.

We'll never know, you can die just from the Carbon Monoxide, it sounds like his levels were pretty high. He had no chance once he sunk to the bottom of the lake, that's part that the news doesn't want to report.

(Message edited by talltigeguy on June 17, 2006)
Old    wkboardin            06-17-2006, 2:22 PM Reply   
Obviously a life jacket is a must. DUH!

Don't know about the Calabria, but our Sanger has a sign near the throttle that says , turn off engine while skiers are near the swim deck, or something to that effect.

Sounds like the parents need to take responsibility here. Stop looking at manufacturers for fault. They have been building boats like this for how long??? I remember skiing behind a Master Craft back in the 80's.
Old     (sup208)      Join Date: May 2004       06-17-2006, 7:37 PM Reply   
the problem with catalytic converters is that they are designed to operate very hot.

Old     (elo)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-17-2006, 9:18 PM Reply   
huh, you would think other boats would produce CO too, not just ski boats j/k
Old     (jrandol)      Join Date: Mar 2004       06-18-2006, 7:54 AM Reply   
Congrats! Crap like this is why boating costs so much! Product Liability insurance for the manufacturers, bogus lawsuits, and high insurance rates for us!!

Hey it's the american way though, never take accountability for your actions! Notice no comments on his websites about his kid not being in a lifejacket? They've done this how many times and not realized there is exhaust coming out of those two exhaust holes out the back?

I love the comments about how Catalatic Converters would be the end all to the problem since they clean up the air so much. This guy should go hold his nose right up the tailpipe of a running car for with all the latest emmissions equipment for 5 minutes then tell me those converters solve all the problems.

This dad has a right to be mad, but he should be mad at himself for what was HIS mistake (lifejacket & ignorance) AND secondly, for not being man enough to own up to that and taking it out in other ways.

What a shame..
Old     (summerobsession)      Join Date: Jun 2005       06-19-2006, 8:53 AM Reply   
I, too sent Mr. Farr an e-mail.
It's truly unsettling how the attitude on the average American has changed over the last twenty years or so. Being from the midwest, we still subscribe to the theory that if something happens to you, chances are it's YOUR fault. In our business we have safety consultants that can PROVE that 99% of all work related accidents are preventable by just taking a split second to think things through.
Somehow, very soon there will have to be a major movement on the part of the majority of citizens to at very least slow the trend of idiotic lawsuits. Common sense and accountability has to come into play at some point. The problem is when something is started in this direction, who steps in? Trial lawyers. Who drafts all the laws that are passed in this country? Lawyers. Are they actually going to cut their own throats? I think not. With over 70% of the worlds lawyers residing in the US (unsubstantiated figure-but one that I have read), the chances of any real meaningful legislation to control this trend is very slim.
I have been on the defendant side of a frivilous lawsuit once, and I can tell you that the civil court system is DESIGNED to hand out money like it was free candy.
And if you think WE don't pay for these payoffs (a better word than settlement) by insurance companies, just review your insurance bill. It all comes from somewhere.
I go through life making myself accountable for my own actions, and even when I have had a potential case for a sttlement either through a doctor's negligence leading to my fathers early death, or my own motorcycle wreck in which I could have sued the manufacturer, I decided to accept the consequences for my actions, and the fact that no matter what I did or who I sued, my father would still be gone.
sorry for the long post, but this topic puts a burr under my saddle.
Old     (boss210)      Join Date: Jun 2006       06-20-2006, 6:52 PM Reply   
About 3 yrs ago on the delta I recived a ticket for a friend of mine who was prop checking (taking a piss)on my swim step, and I put the boat in gear to give clearence for the fairy cable to go across.
Now if it was aginst the law then how have they given this guy any money at all. Dumb ass should be in jail, after all we where adults and got a ticket and everyone was unharmed. This idiot was breaking the law, killed a minor and he is not in prision. Our law system can be F***ed some times.
Old     (bughunter)      Join Date: Nov 2001       06-21-2006, 10:30 AM Reply   
"Our law system can be F***ed some times"
"Our law system IS F***ed"

I do not agree with what he did and also think that ultimately he is responsible for what happened.
Oth, he is going through the most devestating experience a dad can go through and he will for the rest of his life. I'm going to refrain from sending him moralistic messages.

(Message edited by bughunter on June 21, 2006)
Old    paulrob            07-14-2006, 3:19 AM Reply   
My brother drowned in a university olympic sized swimming pool, he passed out underwater while trying to swim the length underwater. He passed out right in front of the lifegaurd station, but the lifegaurd's attentions were on the women sunbather's not on my brother passed out for 15 minutes. He only saw him because his shift was over and when he climbed down from the tower, he finally saw my brother. My family was approached by many ambulance chasing scum bag attorneys, we actually had a case against the lifegaurd but never sued. The university was so amazed that we didn't sue anyone that they created a scholarship fund in my brother's memory w/ the money they were expecting to pay us. There is more to life than money. If you are a weak, manipulative person that needs to take advantage of our messed up legal system for monetary gain during a tradgedy, I feel sorry for your pathetic soul. If politicians weren't attorney's then they wouldn't keep on passing laws that pump obscene amounts of money into their profession. People die, that's a fact. Be strong, don't sue, take accountability for your actions. Why do you think health care is so messed up? Sorry for the rant, but as someone who has lost a loved one to someone else's negligence, I have no sympathy for this stupid man or his dead son because he sued purely for monetary gain not as some means of grieving. If you lose someone, the last thing you want is to have it raked in front of you over and over as you trudge through our infinitly retarded legal system.
Old     (dkjbama92mariah)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-15-2006, 1:56 PM Reply   
Unfortunately this is the state of products liability law in the U.S. A manufacturer must anticipate reasonablely forseeable misuses by a consumer and will be held strictly liable for injuries caused by a defective product. In this case though, hardly see the boat to be "defective." Where exactly would this guy have them put the exhaust. The law is heavily biased to protect the "unsuspecting" consumer from the "big, bad" manufacturer. Many times its asinine, but occasionally it does bring a just result. Asbestos killed ALOT of people who had no idea of the danger, while the manufaturers knew of the danger and didnt warn anybody.

I cant blame Calabria for settling. If you get a family with a dead kid in front of a jury, they're likely gonna want SOMEONE to pay, regardless of where the moral or even legal blame is. My state is NOTORIOUS for obnixiously high jury verdicts. An adverse jury verdict would set a bad precedent and it would be open season on ski boat manufacturers. I am really suprised, however, that Calabria didnt insist on a non-disclosure agreement as part of the settlement. They could have got one, it would probably just have cost them a good bit more. Im sure the settlement by itself has products liability lawyers foaming at the mouth.

Don't get me wrong, i really do feel sorry for this guy. I couldnt imagine losing a kid but he should take some personal responsibility. Even my boat, a 1992, has a red sticker on the transom and the dash stating "do not allow anyone on or about the swim platform while the engine is running." Exactly how much warning does this guy expect to have.


(Message edited by dkjbama92mariah on July 15, 2006)


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