Attorney David I. Fuchs
Dec. 8, 2015
Florida is the number one state in the country for boating accidents and deaths in 2014, with 577 accidents and 67 deaths. The U.S. Coast Guard has released the top three causes for boating accidents in Florida: inexperienced drivers, distracted boaters, and speeding. Florida is known for its beautiful beaches, and many people that live here own or rent boats. With this in mind, we need to be careful when operating a boat as well as take the necessary precautions.
The law states that anyone that owns a boat must have it registered through a local tax collector’s office. Every boat should be registered and its registration should be kept somewhere inside the boat. It is against the law to operate a boat if under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Follow these safety tips while operating a boat:
- Always check the weather before going out in the water, and if you see dark cloudsen forming get to shore.
- Follow a pre-departure checklist; this is the best way to prevent overlooking anything important.
- Use common sense. Operate the boat at a safe speed, stay alert, and look for large vessels or any else in the ocean to prevent collisions.
- Make sure at least one person onboard knows how to operate the boat and is famililar with general boating safety in case something happens to the captain.
- Develop a float plan, meaning that you tell someone who is not going out on the boat where and for how long you are going.. This would include name and numbers of everyone on the boat, boat registration, and the type of communication on board.
- Wear life jackets. When faced with near drowning, a majority of people not wearing a lifejacket die.
- Always avoid alcohol. It can impair your judgment and cause severe boating accidents.
- Learn how to swim. This might sound funny because almost everyone in Florida knows how to swim, but if you are on vacation and want to go on a boat, learn how to swim and wear a life jacket.
- Take a boating course on boating safety and what to do in certain situations.
- Get a free vessel safety check from the US Coast Guard. They will examine the boat for free to check that everything is correct and safe.
Fort Lauderdale accident attorney David I. Fuchs helps individuals who have been involved in boating accidents. We offer free consultations, so please contact our legal team to learn more about your rights under the law and how we can help you after being involved in a boating accident.