Boating accidents can result in serious injuries for the occupants. In 2022, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 4040 boat accidents that involved over 2000 injuries and over 600 fatalities. Not only did boat accidents cause serious injuries, they can also result in severe damage to property. Here are some most common boating accidents and how to prevent them.
Capsizing occurs when the boat turns onto one side or is completely turned over. You can minimize the likelihood of such an accident by following proper safety protocols. For example, it is always good to balance the load of all passengers and gear and try not to overload your vessel. Capsizing often happens due to weight imbalance. Another reason is turning at high speeds. Whenever you make a sharp turn, do so at controlled speeds, especially if there is rough water or bad weather.
A primary cause of boat collisions is careless or reckless boating. To avoid collisions, you need to keep a constant lookout as you could be a victim of such an accident even if it is not your fault. If you plan on staying stationary, don’t clog up active waterways.
Another common cause of boating collisions is underestimating the speed of large vessels. Large vessels have less maneuverability and they might not be able to avoid a collision with your boat. You should also ensure your boat is clearly visible at all times, especially during inclement weather conditions or nighttime when visibility is often at its lowest.
Falling overboard is another common boating accident. This can result in serious injuries and is potentially life-threatening. Falling overboard could be a result of unstable boating conditions or a slippery deck. Overcrowding or alcohol could also be a cause of falling overboard accidents. To avoid such accidents, you should remain vigilant at all times.
A grounding accident happens when the boat hits the ground or strikes an object, such as a reef or rock. The force of the impact can result in falls and other injuries for passengers. The boat can also be severely damaged. If you are in a remote location, such as an island, you may need alternative transport to get back. To avoid grounding accidents, avoid boating in shallow waters. Ideally, you want to avoid low tides and maintain a safe speed. If you are boating in unfamiliar territory, check the nautical charts or use navigation equipment to avoid hazards.
If you have been the victim of a boating accident that was someone else’s fault, you can seek compensation for your damages. Consult with a boating accident lawyer to determine how to get full and fair compensation. Attorneys for boating accidents are experienced in such cases and can guide you on each step of the process to file a claim or lawsuit.
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