Boating Accidents

Understanding Florida Boating Accidents: Is Boating Becoming Safer in Florida?

Category: Boating Accidents |

Recent boating statistics have revealed some promising trends in boating safety throughout the country. Promising Boating Safety Statistics The United States Coast Guard produces an annual report that examines trends in boating safety and recreational boating statistics. The most recent USCG report examines boating statistics from 2012. According to the findings of the report, boating appears to be getting safer in the United States in a handful of key areas. Between 2011 and 2012, boating accident fatalities declined in the United States by 12.9%. The fatality rate was 6.2 per registered recreational vessels in 2011 and dropped to 5.4 in 2012. The number of boating accidents declined by 1.6 percent between 2011 and 2012. The number of boating injuries declined by 2.6 percent between 2011 and 2012. The number of overall boating deaths decreased by 14.1 percent between 2011 and 2012. Contributing Factors to Florida Boating Accidents The report also revealed that a handful of common safety problems are contributing factors in many boating accidents, including: Operator inattention Operator inexperience Improper lookout Mechanical problems Speeding Alcohol is the leading contributing factor to fatal boating accidents. Intoxication was indicated as the primary contributing factor in 17 percent of boating fatalities in 2012. Florida Boating Accident Statistics According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were 67 fatalities in Florida that were caused by boating accidents in 2011. 94 percent of these fatalities occurred in less than 22 feet of water. Drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor in 15 percent of Florida boating fatalities. 68 percent of these events involved boating operators under the age of 35. Have you or a loved one been hurt in Florida boating accident? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203. While boating accident statistics appear to show that our waterways are becoming at least a little bit safer, it only takes a moment for a Florida boating accident involving serious injuries to occur. If you’ve been severely injured in a boating accident in our area, you may need the help of an experienced Florida boating accident lawyer. Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203.

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Avoid a Tampa Jet Ski Accident with These Safety Tips

Category: Boating Accidents |

While operating a jet ski can be a great way to enjoy some fun on the open water in our area, it only takes one mistake to cause a Tampa jet ski accident that results in innocent people getting seriously hurt. Observing the jet ski safety tips below can help you operate these vessels safely in our area. Understand and Obey Applicable Boating Regulations To begin with, it is important to understand that jet skis, or personal watercraft, are considered boats in our waterways. As such, operators must comply with all applicable boating regulations while they are on open water, ranging from observing all posted marking and signs to appropriately heeding the right of way to other vessels. Younger Operators May Need a Boating Safety Education ID Card The state of Florida requires individuals who are aged 21 and under to have a boating safety education ID card in order to operate a boat with 10 horsepower or more. Individuals who are aged 14 and under are not permitted to operate a jet ski. Operators between the ages of 15 and 21 need to have both their boating safety education ID card as well as a photo ID on their person while they are operating a vessel. Florida residents can obtain certification by passing an online course accepted by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. Exercise Caution when Renting a Jet Ski Learning the basics of operating a jet ski is so simple that many first time rental operators have little difficulty in getting out on their own and enjoying a great time on the water. Unfortunately, this ease of use causes some operators to quickly become overconfident and put themselves in harm’s way. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, nearly a quarter of all jet ski accidents involve rental operators. The NTSB also found that about a third of all operators involved in jet ski accidents had operated jet ski less than 10 times before the incident took place. Other Jet Ski Safety Tips Some other good safety practices to follow when operating a jet ski include: Wear an approved personal flotation device Do not operate a jet ski under the influence of alcohol Avoid distractions from other vessels or people on the shore Fuel up before heading for open water Be sure you have enough fuel to return safely Be aware of your limitations and ere on the side of a caution while operating the vessel Have you or a loved one been injured in a boating accident in Tampa? Call us today! The Tampa boating accident lawyers of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk may be able to help if you’ve been injured. Call our injury law team now to get started at 1-800-753-5203.

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Four Leading Causes of Florida Boat Accidents

Category: Boating Accidents |

Taking to the open water is one of the most popular recreational activities for Florida visitors and residents alike. Unfortunately, a moment of inattention can result in a Florida boat accident causing serious injuries, property damage and even death. According to the National Association of Rescue Divers, a few common causes of boat accidents include improper loading, people falling overboard, capsizing and ignoring changing weather conditions. Learning a little about each of these causes can help us all learn to enjoy our waterways more safely and avoid being involved in a Florida boat accident. Improper Loading Overloading and improperly loading a boat can lead to unstable conditions that can easily result in a boating accident. A vessel’s load needs to properly distributed before leaving the dock and remain evenly distributed while on open water. Man Overboard The National Association of Rescue Divers reports that most accidents involving someone falling overboard occur when a boat is anchored or moored. These types of Florida boat accidents often occur when passengers sit in unsafe locations aboard a vessel, do not watch their footing or otherwise behave irresponsibly. Capsizing Capsizing is responsible for a significant proportion of the fatalities caused by Florida boat accidents. A boat can capsize due to improper loading, inclement weather and other dangerous conditions. In many cases, a capsized boat will remain afloat, and passengers are typically advised to stay with their vessel in the event of this type of accident until help can arrive. Ignoring Changing Weather Conditions Here in Florida, the weather can change quickly without much notice. Failing to stay informed of changing weather conditions has led to many boaters being involved in a Florida boat accident that could easily have been prevented. Be sure to have an accurate local forecast before leaving the dock and stay alert to changes in the forecast once you are on the water. Have you been hurt in a Florida boat accident? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-800-753-5203 for a free case evaluation. Call us today for a free initial consultation at 1-800-753-5203 if you’ve been injured in a Florida boat accident in our area. An Florida boat accident lawyer may be able to fight for your rights.

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Boy’s Leg Amputated After Jet Ski Accident

Category: Accidents |

As the result of a serious water scooter accident, doctors amputated the leg of an injured 14-year-old boy, John Dahl. Dahl was riding a water scooter piloted by another 14-year-old boy in Redington Shores Monday evening when the accident occurred. Attached to the scooter was a wakeboard holding a third boy. As the scooter’s speed increased, the wakeboard rider feel off. However, the boy continued to pilot the scooter at high speeds. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation spokesman Gary Morse reported that Dahl became “upset about the speed of the boat and the way it was being operated”. Dahl then jumped off the water scooter and his leg became tangled in the towline attached to the wakeboard. Fortunately, the other two boys were not injured and both Dahl and the driver were wearing lifejackets. Tampa General Hospital spokeswoman, Ellen Fiss reported that Dahl was recovering and remained in serious condition as of Tuesday morning. The identity of the water scooter’s operator has yet to be released as a criminal investigation is pending. Officials described the investigations as “nothing earth-shattering” but standard procedure for boating accidents involving serious injury.

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