Sean Kingston injured in jet ski accident- UPDATED

Singer Sean Kingston has been hospitalized in serious but stable condition after suffering a jet ski accident in Miami yesterday. Jorge Pino, spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, told People magazine that the 21 year old “Beautiful Girls” singer:

“… was heading west from the MacArthur Causeway and Miami Beach Islands when his personal watercraft collided with the bridge, and he and his female passenger ended up in the water.”

A passerby, who happened to be a member on off-duty member of the Coast Guard,  was driving his boat around Star Island when he was called over to the accident scene by a man and a woman on a jet ski. He jumped into the water and held Kingston’s head above water until the Coast Guard arrived and transported him to the closest trauma center.

The singer’s publicist, Joseph Carozza, has issued a statement saying that Kingston has been moved to intensive care from the trauma unit. He added : “Sean’s family thanks everyone for their prayers and support during this time.”

As the warm weather has arrived, more and more people will be climbing aboard jet skis for a day of fun in the sun. Jet ski’s, which are technically referred to as personal water crafts (PWC) are different than other water vehicles. According to the National Association of Rescue Divers:

” PWC are different from conventional boats in terms of design, operation and use. Unlike other types of boats, their shallow draft design allows them to be operated at high speeds in shallow waters and close to shore. They are highly maneuverable and capable of speeds exceeding 65 mph.”

“The same factors that make personal watercraft fun make them dangerous,” said Elizabeth Beierle, M.D., a University of Florida pediatric surgeon who led a review of accidents involving a variety of water crafts. “They’re small, they go fast, and they’re open. In an accident there’s very little to prevent riders from being thrown off, and we believe that’s why we see more serious injuries with them.”

Serious injuries  to those involved include closed-head injuries, trauma to the chest and abdominal injury. Leg fractures are also possible. The majority of jet ski accidents occur when riders strike an object with their jet skis. Riders are thrown from the PWC during the collision and often hit the obstacle involved in the collision.

Here is some excellent advice from the National Association of Rescue Divers regarding PWC safety.

  1. Read the owner’s manual so you understand the controls and features of your personal water craft, and take at least one lesson on it’s usage.
  2. Type 1

    Wear the proper safety equipment. An approved PFD life jacket Type I or Type II is a must. It is also advised to wear eye protection to keep water spray from obscuring your vision.

  3. Tennis or deck shoes offer better control on your machine, also gloves and a wet suit offer protection from the elements.
  4. Attach a whistle to your life jacket in case you need to summon help.
  5. Never operate your personal water craft without the safety lanyard attached to you. The lanyard cuts the engine if you fall, and could save a long swim home.
  6. All persons using or towed by a PWC must wear a Personal Flotation Device.
  7. Stay out of swimming areas and away from wildlife.
  8. Type 2

    Never operate at night, or with two water skiers. Operate the craft only between sunrise and sunset.

  9. Some safety advocates advise a helmet for anyone under 18.
  10. Keep a lookout for other boats and water craft, especially sail boats. Stay at least 100 feet away. Collisions are the most common type of personal water craft accidents.
  11. Respect the rights of others. This includes not following boats to closely, or jumping a boat’s wake.
  12. Stay away from anglers and canoeists.
  13. Be conscious of the noise your craft makes.
  14. Do not operate your water craft after you’ve been drinking.
  15. Know the water you’re operating in so you can avoid weeds, rocks, and sandbars.

UPDATE: 6/1/11

It is reported that Sean Kingston is expected to make a full recovery, although it will take at least 6 weeks to recuperate from his injuries, which included a broken jaw, fractured wrist and water in his lungs. His passenger on the jet ski, Cassandra Sanchez, 23, has already been released from the hospital.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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