Sinclair Law

Boating Safety Tips for the Summer

Every year, countless lives are lost due to boat accidents, but with the implementation of a safety prevention plan, sadly, many of these accidents are avoidable.


Melbourne, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/06/2016 --Summer's here, the best time of year for parades, barbecues, fireworks and boating. With an increase in boats out on the nation's waterways, combined with drinking and some inexperienced boat drivers, you have a recipe for an accident, personal injury and unfortunately, sometimes even death. In fact, according to the 2015 U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Statistics, 626 people across the country lost their lives in boating related accidents.

Of the 4,158 boating accidents during the same year, 2,613 persons suffered injuries. Additionally, these accidents also resulted in $42 million in property damage. Between 2014 and 2015, there was a 1.9% fatality rate increase per 100,000 registered recreational vessels with the number of accidents increasing by 2.3%. The number of deaths increased from 2.4% to 2.6%. In most cases, the cause of death was due to drowning and lack of life jacket usage. Eighty-five percent of victims were not wearing life jackets.

Other boat stats include the fact that 71% of boating deaths occurred due to an inexperienced boat operator, 15% of deaths occurred on boats with proper boating instruction, and out of 158 accidents involving a propeller, there were 150 injuries. The leading known contributor to boat accidents was alcohol use. Alcohol use was responsible for 17% of boating deaths. The top five accident types include: collision with another boat; flooding or swamping, a skier accident; grounding, and collision with an object other than a boat.

There are four main types of boat accident negligence claims. Accidents resulting from: a boat hitting another boat, a boat hitting a wave, hitting another boat's wake, or a boat hitting any type of fixed object including land. If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident, you must prove negligence in order to recover damages—damages for your injuries, loss of work, damages for your boat, etc. Planning ahead and doing everything possible on your end to reduce chances of accident will increase the safety of yourself, your loved ones, and other boaters out on the waterways.

Drink responsibly, wear life jackets, make sure that you've had proper safety boat operation training, keep your boat maintained and up to par, and drive responsibly. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating related accident and you need help filing a negligence claim or recovering damages, contact the law office of Sinclair Law today to schedule a consultation with a Florida personal injury attorney.

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