Preventing Boating Accidents
Throughout the year many people in Florida enjoy relaxing and cooling off by spending a day on their boats. Boaters can have a good time and an opportunity to spend time with their loved ones in the waters of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico or even the Caribbean Sea.
Regrettably, boats can be extremely dangerous, sometimes leading to serious injuries, drowning or even death. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2017, there were 723 recreational boating accidents in Florida, resulting in 66 deaths.
Duties of Boaters in Florida
The “Rules of the Nautical Road” were created to assist boaters as well as those around them remain safe. Failure to stay sensible, not travel at moderate speeds or remain watchful amounts to negligence and can seriously amplify the chances of getting into a severe accident. Careless, negligent or even reckless cruising on a boat can result in legal liability and lawsuits for resulting injuries and damages.
While on the water in Florida boaters should follow the rules below:
1. Speed. On Florida waterways there are posted signs that regulate boat speeds. It is important for boaters to watch out for signs and abide by the speed posted.
2. Alcohol Use. Similar to driving a car, boaters should never operate a boat while intoxicated. A boater is considered to be drunk if they have a BAC of 0.08 or more.
3. Reckless Operation. Boaters have to operate the boat in a cautious and sensible manner so they do not cause harm or injuries to other people on the water. As such, boaters should not do any of the following:
- Tailgate other boats;
- Operate boats close to swimmers;
- Cut through a marine parade;
- Overloading the boat with too many people or things; or
- Permit passengers to ride on the bow of the boat or sit backwards.
4. Approaching other boats. When two boats are approaching one another head-on, each boat should trade a sound of their horn and proceed to pass the other boat on its left-hand side, leaving enough space between one another.
5. Crossing. When a boater is approaching another boat vertically and anticipates they will pass the other at a close distance, of the two boats, the boat which has the other boat on its right-hand side should stay out of the way of the other.
6. Overtaking. When a boat is approaching another boat from behind, the boat with the intention of overtaking the other boat is required to stay away from it.
7. Life Jackets. There should always be at least one USCG approved life jacket per each person on the boat. Children younger than 12 and anyone water skiing are required to wear life jackets at all times.
Although boating is fun, you should always remain watchful and take extra precautions to make sure you, your passengers and others on the water stay safe.
Are you in need of a Top Rated Boat Accident Injury Attorney?
If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries or deaths due to another boater’s negligence, call the Glover Law Firm. We advise on hiring an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue the suitable legal actions.
Moreover, in cases where the boating accident resulted in the death of a family member, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim.
Gordon J. Glover is a highly experienced, aggressive and hardworking Ocala boat accident attorney. Kindly contact us online or call today at our Villages 352-205-4495 office or Ocala office 352-484-0775, to discuss your boating accident case in more detail.