Recreational Boating: Ten Tips to Stay Safe

According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 4,588 recreational boating accidents last year, resulting in 758 deaths, 3,081 injuries and property damage totaling approximately $52 million.

Owner and operator negligence is to blame for a significant number of recreational boating accidents. In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard points to the following factors as the top five primary contributing factors:

  • Operator inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Excessive speed
  • Machinery failure

It is important for boat owners and operators to take safety seriously. From maintaining a vessel properly to maneuvering it carefully, recreational boaters must be diligent about preventing accidents.

When you hit the water this summer, keep in mind these ten safety tips:

  • Always wear a life jacket and insist that your passengers do the same
  • Take charge of your safety and the safety of your passengers
  • Never operate a boat while drinking alcohol
  • Take a boating safety course
  • Follow boating safety recommendations and navigational rules
  • Maintain a safe speed and a careful lookout
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Get a free vessel safety check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector
  • File a float plan every time you head out

Boat owners and operators who act negligently may be liable under maritime law for any injuries or deaths they cause. Latti & Anderson LLP has obtained significant verdicts and settlements for victims of recreational boating accidents, including $440,000 for a man who was injured when a boat hit a standing swell too fast, and $307,500 for a woman who was injured when a boat struck a couple of wakes at full speed.

Have you been a victim of boating negligence? Contact a Boston maritime attorney today to discuss your case during a free consultation.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers