When do most boating accidents occur?

Most boating accidents occur in the summer months or on holidays, and many have nothing to do with bad weather conditions. They are commonly caused by a distracted and reckless boat operation, alcohol or drug consumption, equipment failure, inadequate passenger behavior, or operator inexperience.

Both the Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve present an unusually heightened risk for boating. On these occasions, many are on the water at night to watch fireworks, and visibility is poor. This makes other vessels and channel markers difficult to see.

Boating accidents that happen under these circumstances can have serious consequences such as severe injuries, boat damages, and even death. Most accidents occur in the ocean or bay areas, as opposed to rivers or lakes. It is also a fact that many of these accidents happen in small, open vessels on inland waters amid daylight hours when the weather is fair, and the visibility is clear, the water is calm, and the breezes are light.

Boating accidents most often involve powerboats and cabin cruisers. The main factors of boating accidents include:

  • Operator distraction, inexperience, or recklessness - an inexperienced boat operator is more likely to commit a mistake when facing unfamiliar or unpredictable circumstances.
  • Inadequate passenger behavior.
  • Alcohol or drug consumption - a vessel operator or the passengers are more likely to be distracted or act recklessly if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Equipment failure - equipment failure is more likely to occur in harsh weather.
  • Weather - bad weather is one of the most significant risks boat operators face because accidents that occur in these circumstances often lead to the vessel's loss and severe, if not fatal, injuries.

These causes can occur alone, but two or more reasons often contribute to a devastating event. The most common injuries the above causes may lead to include:

If you are a passenger or boat operator involved in a boating accident, you can recover financial compensation. We can help you prove the accident occurred because of someone else’s negligence.

What are the most common boating accidents in Miami?

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Miami-Dade was the second among the top five Florida counties with the highest number of boating accidents in 2017. The most common boating accidents in Miami are those in which the vessel’s operation, construction, sea-worthiness, equipment, or machinery leads to:

Common types of boating accidents include:

  • Capsizing
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Collisions
  • Ejection from vessel
  • Electrocution
  • Fall in the vessel and overboard
  • Fire/explosions
  • Flooding/swamping
  • Grounding/sinking

The most frequent sources of injuries are:

  • Collisions with recreational vessels
  • Flooding/swamping
  • Collisions with fixed objects
  • Grounding
  • Skier mishaps

Parasailing accidents, wave runner, or jet ski accidents are also prevalent on the coast of Florida. The types of vessels with the highest number of casualties are personal watercraft, open motorboats, cabin motorboats, pontoon boats, and canoes or kayaks.

How can I avoid getting injured while boating?

Wearing a life jacket is the most important thing you should consider when boating. Drowning was the number one known cause of death in many accidents. Out of the total number of 459 deaths caused by drowning, 379 deaths occurred when the life jacket was not worn. Do not consume alcohol or take drugs while driving a boat, and consider taking boating safety courses. You should always be alert to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning anytime you are below deck in a confined space. Here are 12 tips to prevent injuries and death while boating:

  • Do not operate the vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Do not turn down your emergency radio.
  • Avoid excessive speed while boating.
  • Make sure your boat is properly maintained.
  • If you are renting a boat, read the liability waiver carefully.
  • Know the law about life jackets and make sure everybody is wearing one.
  • Do not overload your boat.
  • Know what to do in case of an emergency.
  • Make sure your safety equipment is in good working order, and make sure you know how to use it.
  • Get a free vessel safety check performed by a qualified U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary vessel examiner.
  • Watch the weather.
  • Take a boating safety course.

The number of boating accidents in Miami has increased in the past few years. The main reasons are that some boat operators do not follow the safety guidelines regulated by federal and state laws in Florida, and there are more boats than ever in Miami. According to Coast Guard data, Florida leads in boating accidents and deaths. The 2017 boating accident statistics show that 63% of the reportable boating accidents occurred in Florida counties. The top five counties for boating accidents in Florida in 2017 were: Monroe County, Miami-Dade, Broward County, Pinellas County, Lee County.

What can I do after a boating accident in Miami to pursue compensation?

If you were injured in a boating accident in Miami, we strongly recommend you seek legal advice from an experienced attorney because the legislation on waterways incidents is complex. Some boating accidents can fall under the general Florida law, whereas Admiralty or maritime law applies to others. It is essential to have an experienced attorney navigating these complexities for you.

Consulting an attorney who is well-versed in Florida boat accident laws is highly recommended to sort out the jurisdiction and time limits for filing a lawsuit. Sean M. Cleary has vast experience in applying boating accident laws, and we always concentrate our working plan on acting promptly and transparently to gather the necessary information and evidence as quickly as possible:

  • We talk to witnesses.
  • Go to the scene of the accident.
  • Investigate the vessel together with reputable boating experts who can help us better understand what went wrong.

At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we handle boat accidents with the highest professional and legal standards so that our clients can receive compensation for their physical and emotional suffering.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.