According to a recent report from the U.S. Coast Guard, Florida leading the nation when it comes to boating accidents, injuries, and deaths. The report is based on accidents in 2018. According to the Coast Guard, there were 607 boating accidents in Florida over the course of the year, with $7 million worth of property damage, 57 deaths and 297 people injured
WUSF News reports that fatal accidents in the state fell to their lowest level since 2015. Florida has the most registered recreational boats in the country, which is a contributing factor to the sheer number of accidents.
The report from the Coast Guard came just days before a dive boat fire killed more than 24 people in California.
Boating accidents can be serious, and it takes planning and preparation to prevent them and to have a chance of surviving an incident if one occurs. Anna Morris, an assistant education officer for the Power Squadron chapter in Tampa Bay offers vessel safety inspections and courses and emphasizes the importance of being over-prepared. On her boat, she has “more fire extinguishers than she will ever need”, because fire extinguishers only last for a few seconds and once the fiberglass catches fire the boat is gone, and the priority is an evacuation.
Collisions and falling overboard are the two things that cause the most fatalities at sea. Fires are deadly also but are generally preventable. Often, it is smoke inhalation which ends up killing people, since fiberglass, fuel, and other substances on boats emit toxic fumes when they catch fire.
Recreational users should be taught basic safety precautions such as where their life vests are and how to use them. Alcohol use on boats should be limited since alcohol contributes to more than 100 deaths at sea each year in the United States.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, contact our lawyers today.