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