Florida boating accidents are at increasing levels, authorities say. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission reports that boating accidents killed 67 people and injured 437 last year. That’s an increase of nearly 14% over the previous year. The National Safe Boating Council is reminding boaters to be extra careful over the summer holidays.
Most boaters have no formal safety education, including two-thirds of those who operating vessels that were involved in fatal accidents. Every summer, safety advocates roll out campaigns to raise awareness, and this year is no exception.
Preventing Florida Boating Accidents
The Safer Boating Campaign has released the following safe boating practices:
Always wear a life jacket. Drowning is the reported cause of death in 76 percent of all boating fatalities – and 84.5 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket in 2017. Boaters should wear a properly fitted life jacket in good condition at all times while boating.
Use an engine cut-off device. An engine stopping device is a proven safety device to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard. In 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 172 accidents involving injuries from a propeller. These accidents resulted in 31 deaths and 162 injuries, all of which might have been prevented if the boat operator was wearing an engine cutoff device.
Never boat under the influence. Boating under the influence, or BUI, is the leading contributing factor in recreational boater deaths. The side effects of alcohol or drug use, such as impaired judgment, reduced balance and poor coordination, are magnified while boating. The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, a partner of the Safe Boating Campaign, is coordinating the 10th annual Operation Dry Water from June 30-July 2 in every U.S. state and territory to raise awareness about BUI dangers.
Martinez Manglardi wishes everyone a safe summer. But accidents happen. If an accident harms you or someone you love, a good Florida personal injury attorney may be able to help you recover losses. Our firm has been helping accident victims for over 30 years. Call 407-846-2240 for a free consultation. Offices throughout Central Florida.