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SUMMER SAFETY PART VI: BOATING ACCIDENTS

The sun is high, and the weather is breezy, nothing is holding the people of Florida back from unveiling their luxury boats. The boater’s heaven features 8,000 miles of coastline, 2,000 marinas, 3 million acres of lakes, and 1,700 miles of rivers. Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles records about 897,000 registered boaters in the state. Florida ranks in 3rd place for boating registration nationwide.

There was approximately 5000 boating accident recorded by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2013, with more than 560 deaths. The Sunshine state, that same year, reported 736 boating accidents, leaving 62 dead, and more than 400 people injured. It is the highest recorded in the country and has maintained its position ever since.

Safety courses are always mandated by the U.S. Coastguards to ensure the safety of riders and passengers. The absence of license and registration is regarded as a federal offense. Other safety gears such as; flares, life vest, and lightening, are also compulsory effects. During an accident investigation, if all these requirements are not met, the boater involved would be forced to face the law.

The water vessel distributor, and the manufacturing companies, also play a role in the passenger safety. There are rules and safety precautions they also must follow, and if not met, they would be investigated and would likely face strict penalties. At times like this, a Florida Injury Attorney is always on call, to represent victims of heinous accidents.

Recreational boating activities can never be stopped in Florida. Summertime is the time for ski jets, kayaking, fishing, boat racing, crabbing and several other fun activities. However, the use and misuse of alcohol cannot be curbed, taking alcohol irresponsibly is the cause of more than 20% of all boating accidents in the state.

To enjoy your time in the sun without worry, safety precautions must be followed diligently. Here are some of those precautions to ensure your safety and that of your passengers:

Before embarking on a sail, ensure that the passengers, young and old, have a life vest. Guide them on how to wear the safety vest, and on their usage. The best vest is the bright colored ones, with distress whistles, and inbuilt flip mechanism on their collars.

Weather reports should be checked before departure, and the navigation system should be followed religiously to guide sailors especially on foreign waters. The weather report helps you avoid strong winds, waves, and lightning.

It is also vital to maintain a safe speed limit, and sail on open water channels. Wake zones are dangerous, so it is advised to slow down. Alcohol consumption should be avoided while operating a boat. There should also be an alcohol limit for the passengers to aid effective communication during a crisis.

Contacting a Florida injury attorney after a boating accident is important. Therefore, passengers and boat owners are advised to have one at their beck and call, as this helps you or your family get the necessary compensations.


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