We love our boats in Florida. Nearly one million vessels are registered here, taking advantage of our miles and miles of coastline. Fishing, swimming, jet-skiing, cruising, and other water activities seem to be the main hobby of Floridians, and who can blame us?
Unfortunately, Florida also leads the nation in the number of annual boating accidents. There were 714 reported accidents in 2016, with 67 fatalities. This number is especially troubling because most boating accidents are preventable, with the majority caused by inexperienced operators or drivers not paying attention.
Some of the common causes of boat accidents also include careless or reckless operation, operating at an unsafe speed, too many passengers, no proper lookout, and boating while intoxicated.
Boating and alcohol
A Coast Guard study estimated that alcohol was involved in almost one-third of recreational boating fatalities. When someone is operating a vessel while intoxicated, they’re driving with impaired judgement, slow reaction time, and poor coordination.
Florida’s laws regarding boating and drinking are just as strict as those for drinking and driving. It’s against the law to boat under the influence (BUI). This includes sailing, waterskiing, jet skiing, or any other similar watercraft activity while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
A person is considered to be under the influence in Florida if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher, or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs to a degree that impairs their normal abilities.
Types of boat accidents
Statistics show that vessel collisions are the most common type of boat accident, with boaters falling overboard the main cause of boater fatalities. Other types of recreational boat accidents include:
- Colliding with another vessel or structure
- Sinking or flooding
- Disappearance of vessel or passenger
Boat accidents can quickly turn tragic. The Fort Lauderdale boat accident attorneys at Yeboah Law Group have years of experience defending the rights of those injured in boating accidents that occurred due to someone else’s negligence. Whether it was a motorboat, sailboat, parasailing accident, or jet ski accident, we are here to help. Call us at 1-800-TELL-SAM or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.