Boating season is upon us in Massachusetts. If you are planning to take to the open water this summer, you have a responsibility to help prevent accidents by using safe boating practices. Boating tragedies occur with shocking frequency, but nearly every accident is easily preventable. Read on for more information about boating accidents, and how to avoid becoming a statistic.
Boating Accident Statistics
- According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2013 approximately 77 percent of boating-related fatalities were caused by drowning.
- Among those drowning victims, about 84 percent were not wearing life vests.
- Of the victims, 22 were children under the age of 13.
- The main causes of boating accidents include operator inexperience, operator inattention, faulty machinery, and the use of excessive speed.
- In 2013, alcohol was the main contributing factor in boating deaths.
That same year, the five leading types of boating accidents were:
- Collisions involving recreational vessels – 947
- Flooding – 430
- Collisions with other objects – 427
- Grounding – 399
- Accidents involving water skiing – 332
Tips for Preventing Boating Accidents
Any person operating a boat should be licensed to operate the vessel, and should have completed a boater safety course. By following the tips below, you can dramatically reduce your risk of serious injury or death in a boating accident. A MA boating accident attorney can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured by another’s negligence.
- Establish a “float plan” and leave it with a friend or family member before leaving dry land. A float plan should include identifying information about the boat, where you are headed, and the names and contact information of everyone on board.
- Ensure that your boat is equipped with an adequate number of personal flotation devices, and wear a life vest while on the water.
- Keep a safe distance between your boat and other vessels at all times.
- Avoid using excessive speed.
- Monitor weather conditions. If a storm is approaching, it is safest to head back to shore until the storm has passed.
- Use extra caution when towing a water skier. Prevent water skiers from getting too close to other boats, swimmers, or fixed objects.
- Never operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Even a low blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can be deadly.
Tragic Boating Accident in Boston Harbor
Boston Harbor made the headlines in 2015, when a gruesome boating accident resulted in severe injuries to a young woman. Alexander Williams, a 26 year old OUI attorney, pleaded guilty to charges of negligent operation of a boat and furnishing alcohol to minors, among other charges. As a result of the accident involving Williams’ boat, the Naut Guilty, 19-year old Nicole Berthiaume lost her right arm. A MA injury attorney can help you recover damages if you’ve been injured in a boating accident.
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Top Boating Accident Law Firm
If you have been injured due to another’s negligence, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. Boating season is the favorite time of year for many MA residents, and that doesn’t have to change. Boating can be fun and safe, as long as you practice safe boating practices at all times. If you have been injured, however, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other associated costs. Our attorneys have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. We will analyze the details of your case, determine the most appropriate legal strategy, and position you for the best possible outcome. If you’ve been injured, we can help. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.