Enoch Tong, Family, lawsuit

Family Of Man Who Died After Jumping From Yacht Files $50K Lawsuit

The family of 20-year-old Enoch Tong, who jumped off a chartered yacht and drowned in Florida Biscayne Bay, is suing the boat company for failing to warn Tong of any potential “swimming hazard that existed.”

The family is seeking $50,000 in damages for negligence, People reports.

A lawsuit names Impulsive Life LLC, its owner Darien Fresco, Starward Yachts Inc., and Jones Boat Yard Inc. as those responsible for Tong’s death in Miami-Dade County on March 19.

The claim details that Tong entered the water and “was caught in a rip tide and began to struggle to remain afloat,” and as a result, he “drowned and sustained severe injuries resulting in his death.”

The boat was anchored at the time when Tong jumped, Pedro Echarte, the family’s attorney, said. The family claims “neither the captain nor the mate aboard that vessel warned Enoch or any of the passengers” of potential danger in the water; they believe his death was preventable, Local 10 Miami reports.

Tong’s mother, Mattie Bess, hopes that their family’s story serves as a cautionary tale.

“Today I stand before you,” she said per PEOPLE, “with a heart burdened by grief as a mother who has tragically lost her beloved son during a devastating incident. I want to ensure that no other parent has to endure the pain and heartache my family is currently going through and will go through for the rest of our lives.”

The Tong family is accusing the defendants of a litany of additional offenses related to their negligence claims including “failing to reasonably and properly train, instruct, or supervise its employees, agents, contractors, masters, officers, crew members, or seamen”; “allowing unqualified and untrained employees, agents, contractors, masters, officers, crew members, or seamen to operate the Victoria”; failing to properly equip or use the available safety and lifesaving equipment aboard the Victoria”; “failing to implement reasonable and proper safety policies and procedures for its passengers (or failing to instruct its crew of the same)”; and “failing to warn its passengers of the risks of jumping in the water, especially during poor or deteriorating weather conditions.”

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