When you’re out on the water on a sunny day, it’s easy to get distracted. However, it’s still important to be aware of what’s going on in and around your boat. Figures compiled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission show 73 fatalities and 365 injuries on Florida waters for the 2013 year. The numbers for 2014 aren’t in yet.
Here are the most common causes for boating accidents in Florida:
Although weather can be a factor, most capsizing incidents are attributable to overloading. The maneuverability and center of gravity of the boat are affected. When a boat is overloaded, there usually aren’t enough life jackets. The law requires you to have one personal floatation device for every person on your boat.
This can happen at the dock, at anchor or when moving. If it happens while the boat is moving, somebody is either standing or walking when they should be sitting, or they’re sitting in an unsafe spot like a gunwale, sideboard or transom. Everyone onboard should be aware of the boom when changing directions on a sailboat as very serious head and neck injuries can result.
High concentrations of boats and high blood alcohol levels exponentially increase the chances of a collision on the water. Sun, wind, waves and alcohol can be a very dangerous mixture. Alcohol hits you faster and harder when you’ve been out on the water for awhile. More than half of all fatal boating accidents have involved a boat operator who consumed alcohol. The same .08 limit that applies on the road applies on the water too. The sandbar party spots between Sand Key and Treasure Island can get particularly dangerous with intoxicated boat operators, some of whom may be minors. Remain alert in that area.
Our extensive experience in boating law and regulations coupled with our medical knowledge is valuable for you because we understand the nature and extent of your injuries and how they were caused through the negligent operation of a boat. If you believe that negligent boat operation caused your injuries or the death of a family member, contact boating accident lawyer Bryan Caulfield at the Law Offices of Penerich & Caulfield at 1-800-535-2529. You’ll get a free consultation and case evaluation. No fees are owed unless we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. If you were hurt as the result of the negligence of somebody else, you deserve fair compensation.