Boating accidents are much more widespread than people realize, especially in Washington. When you are close to the waterfront, you take ferries across the harbor, grab your boat out for fishing, and you could even work on a ship.
While some accidents are unforeseeable, most accidents that happen on the open water are preventable. Also, the injuries can be catastrophic. So, knowing what the most common injuries are and how to avoid them is best if you want a safe, enjoyable summer.
In a study by the United States Coast Guard, the number of accidents increased from 2006 to 2007. Also, 70 percent of the fatal boating accidents involved drowning, and a shocking 90 percent were not wearing life jackets.
Most Common Types of Boating Accidents
There are some types of boating accidents more reported than others. These types of accidents are preventable and often come from negligent operators.
- Collisions with Boats – Collisions between boats are a common kind of accident reported. These are easily preventable and often result because a ship’s operator is not watching their radar or venture into areas where they should not. Also, boats collide in harbors when operators are going too fast for the area and cannot safely maneuver in between other ships.
- Overboard Falls – Falls overboard are one of the leading causes of private and commercial boating accidents and fatalities. When a person is not wearing a life jacket, they are more likely to drown in an overboard accident.
- Collisions with Fixed Objects – Another common and preventable accident is the collision with a fixed object, such as a dock, pier, or submerged object. This often occurs when a person does not monitor the radar, or they are going too fast while entering the harbor.
- Skiing Accidents – Waterskiing is a fun way to get out and enjoy the summer weather, but also dangerous. You must take precaution while water skiing and follow all rules, including flagging when picking up a downed skier. Often, when these rules are ignored injuries and fatalities happen.
- Drunken Boating – Just like it is illegal to drink and drive, it is also illegal to drink and operate a boat. Often fatal boating accidents occur because of alcohol impairment. In fact, 35 percent of boating-related deaths happen because of alcohol.
- Inattention Accidents – When an operator is not paying attention to the water, whether they are distracted by conversations, devices, or another reason, serious accidents and injuries can occur.
- Fires – Boat fires are extremely dangerous, especially the further out to sea you get. Once your boat catches fire, you may be unable to put out that fire; therefore, you must go overboard. Fires can occur when someone is negligent or inattentive on the boat. Other times, fires happen because of improper maintenance and malfunctioning components.
- Inexperience Errors and Injuries – When an operator is new to boat ownership and maneuvering, they are more likely to cause errors that could lead to devastating accidents and injuries.
- Reckless Boat Operations – Sometimes there are no substances or inattention issues; instead, the boat operator is merely careless. Whether it is going too fast, ignoring regulations, or piling too many people on the ship, this type of behavior on the water almost always leads to an accident and serious injury.
Injured in a Boating Accident? Contact an Attorney
If you or a loved one was seriously injured in a boating accident, you might be entitled to compensation. Speak with an accident attorney that has experience handling boating accident claims by contacting the team at Hames, Anderson, Whitlow & O’Leary.
Schedule your consultation with our attorneys today at 509-586-7797 or request an appointment online.