Florida is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse waterways and beaches in the world. From the winding rivers in the Everglades to the popular shores of Key West, there is something for everyone. As a result, boating safety is a topic of paramount importance for everyone who call this beautiful state home.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Coast Guard reports that boating accidents were responsible for more than 2,500 injuries and over 600 deaths in 2014 alone. These accidents cost an astonishing $39 million in damages. To put these figures in perspective, there were 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered vessels, a 10 percent increase from the year before.
Boating Safety Considerations
Under Florida law, anyone born in 1988 or after must complete a boating course before legally operating a motorized boat. Furthermore, no person under 14 years old is permitted to operate a boat or personal watercraft on Florida waters.
To ensure you and your loved ones stay safe on the water, consider the following safety tips:
- Wear a life jacket and instruct your passengers to wear one as well
- Review the weather forecast to ensure you will be safe on the water
- Equip the vessel with an emergency kit that contains batteries, flares, a flashlight, first-aid supplies, and plenty of non-perishable food and water
- Make sure there is a fire extinguisher onboard
- Do not drink and operate the vessel
- Keep a safe distance between your boat and other watercraft
Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, it’s important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can inform you of your options and help you determine the next steps in your case. Call Emerson Straw, PL at (727) 821-1500 to speak to an attorney about your case.