Preventing Summertime Tragedies: Safety Tips for Recreational Boaters

For many people, summer fun includes water-based activities like swimming, Jet Skiing and boating. Sadly, sometimes summer fun turns to tragedy. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 4,604 recreational boating accidents in 2010, resulting in 672 deaths and 3,153 injuries. Of those killed, 21 were children under the age of 13. These statistics serve as a grim reminder about the importance of boating safety.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, of all the recreational boating deaths in 2010,  only 9 percent occurred on boats operated by someone who had received boating safety instruction, and only 6 percent occurred on boats operated by someone who had completed a boating safety course with an instructor approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. Completing a NASBLA-approved safety course may be one of the best ways to ensure you and your boat passengers remain safe this summer.

Recreational boaters can also take other steps to help prevent boating and drowning accidents, such as:

  • Having an experienced operator of the watercraft
  • Observing the “rules of the road”
  • Avoiding alcohol, drugs and distractions while operating a watercraft
  • Having a working radio, lights, radar, sonar and electronic equipment on the vessel
  • Having accessible, life-saving equipment on the vessel, including life jackets, life rings, hooks, a life raft and EPIRB
  • Being aware of all surroundings while operating the watercraft, including looking for all vessels, buoys, swimmers and boaters in the water
  • Wearing life jackets and requiring passengers to wear them as well


Even when a boat operator and his or her passengers take all necessary safety precautions, a boating accident can still happen. Unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of others on the water. A maritime attorney protects the rights of drunk boating victims and people injured in other types of recreational boating accidents. To learn about your rights under maritime law, contact a Boston maritime attorney today.

Latti & Anderson LLP –Boston maritime trial lawyers