Boating can be an enjoyable and relaxing activity, particularly during the spring when the weather is perfect for an afternoon out on the water. However, boating can also be a hazardous activity requiring boaters to take certain precautions to avoid accidental injury, or even death. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the number of reported boating accidents increase in the spring, which may be due to more boating and water activities. While preparing for the next boating trip, it is important to keep in mind some of the pitfalls that can occur.
One of the most common types of boating accidents is capsizing. Capsizing can be caused by many factors, including operating a boat at an unsafe speed, turning a boat too quickly, inclement weather, or inappropriate use of an anchor. Something as simple as overloading a boat can cause the boat to tip over in the water. A capsized boat is a very dangerous situation that frequently causes damage to the boat and injury or death to the passengers.
People falling overboard is another accident commonly seen while boating. Consumption of alcohol can increase this risk. However, falling overboard can also be caused by slippery areas on the boat, rough weather making it difficult to balance on the boat, or simply standing too close to the edge of the boat without holding on. Not only does falling overboard pose the risk of injury, but it is one of the most common types of boating accidents that results in death.
With the increase seen in boating in the spring, boat collisions are likely to happen. Collisions can occur with other boats on the water or fixed objects, such as piers or docks. There are numerous reasons why these collisions occur. Generally, operator inexperience, alcohol consumption, equipment failure, speeding or carelessness lead to boat collisions. The injury caused by a boat collision can vary from minor property damage to the boat to serious physical injury to a passenger.
While boating is an excellent opportunity to get outside and spend time with family and friends, it does not come without the threat of injury. Understanding the risks involved with boating, and taking the necessary safety precautions, is critical to any successful springtime boating trip. If you have been involved in a boating accident it’s imperative that you contact an attorney right away!