With the warm sun, sandy beaches, and ocean just steps away, Floridians have always enjoyed an active outdoor lifestyle. Boating is a favorite activity for many South Florida outdoor enthusiasts; however, it is extremely important to know how to stay safe when out on the water.
Florida’s boating facts are astounding. According to 2018 United States Coast Guard statistics, Florida had the highest number of fatal injury, non-fatal injury, and property damage accidents compared to any other state.
Here are some other key findings from the report:
- In known causes of boating deaths, 77% were from drowning
- In known drowning victims, 84% were not wearing life jackets
- In fatal boating accidents, alcohol is the leading contributing factor
- In fatal boating accidents, lack of operator boating safety education is a major factor
- In boating accidents, operator inexperience or inattention are among the top five contributing causes, along with improper lookout, speed, and machinery failure.
These statistics indicate that responsible boating can prevent injury and save lives. To prevent accidents and injury:
- Always wear a life jacket
- Never boat under the influence
- Take a boating safety course
- Know navigational rules
Both federal and state laws can apply to boating accidents on Florida’s waterways. Depending on the circumstances, the operator of a boat may be liable. If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident, you may be able to recover from the responsible party.
Please stay safe and boat responsibly.