Boating is a relaxing pastime, especially during the summer months. However, it is essential to be aware of the risks and responsibilities. Knowing your rights and responsibilities as boaters and as passengers will make it safer for you on the water.
Florida Boating Accidents
Many boating accidents can be prevented by following basic safety precautions. Some of the more avoidable tragedies are those involving not wearing life jackets and not having flotation devices. According to Coast Guard data from 2013, 84% of boating drowning tragedies were related to not have personal flotation devices (PFDs) such as life jackets. Wearing a life jacket doubles your chances of surviving a boating accident. However, it is not enough that life jackets are available. PFDs must fit and be consistently used. Safety harnesses during open sea boating when crewing are an extra measure you can take for safety. While it is essential for adults to have PFDs, it is a matter of life or death for children. They should have life jackets that fit them. They should never wear adult-size life jackets. Never let a child go near the water or in a boat without a life jacket and never leave a child unattended near water. Leaving a child attended near water is, in many states a reason for child neglect charges, as is not providing life jackets. Read the rest »
The number of fatal boating accidents in Florida is on the rise. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were 73 boating-related deaths in Florida in the year 2014. That is an increase of 18 percent from the 62 boating deaths that occurred in Florida the previous year.
According to a Keys Info Net news report, 10 people were killed in Miami-Dade County boating accidents and five occurred in Monroe County. Furthermore, Monroe County, where the Florida Keys are located, ranks second statewide for nautical mayhem with $1.2 million in damages from 71 boating accidents. Miami-Dade leads the way with 79 accidents followed by Pinellas County near Tampa, which had 53 boat accidents and four deaths. Read the rest »
A two-boat accident in the waters off Biscayne National Park sent nine people to the hospital with injuries varying from minor to serious.
A spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) described the crash as “a violent collision.” He went on to state that it was fortunate that nobody was killed in the Florida boat accident.
FWC reports that the collision occurred in the waters west of Elliot Key and involved a 36-foot Carrera with 16 passengers on board and a 38-foor Wellcraft with just two people on board. Read the rest »
Investigators for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) are investigating a boating accident that resulted in one man being rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. Although details of the boating accident are still sketchy, FWC has described the boating accident as being “alcohol-related.”
According to FWC, at about 6 p.m. on August 31, a 20-foot Mako boat with five men onboard was traveling near the Bunces Pass when it crashed into a navigational marker. One of the men onboard was seriously injured and had to be transported to Bayfront Medical Center. Authorities didn’t describe the extent of the victim’s injuries, but the latest word is that he is in critical condition at the hospital. Read the rest »
A 28-year-old Connecticut woman plummeted to her death while parasailing in Pompano Beach when the harness that attached her to the sail failed. The woman was riding tandem with her 31-year-old husband when she dropped some 200 feet into the ocean. After being rushed to Broward Health North, she was pronounced dead.
Investigators from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, the U.S Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are looking into the tragic accident, which once again has spurred lawmakers and government leaders to call for oversight of an industry that is virtually unregulated. Read the rest »
The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) and associated partners — including the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) — are kicking off National Safe Boating Week (NSBW), part of a national campaign to spread the message of safe and responsible boating to the American public. This year’s theme, “Wear it!” is encouraging everybody in a boat to get into the habit of wearing a life jacket and being alert and aware while on the water.
According to the NSBC, some 500 people drown nationwide each year from recreational boating accidents. The executive director of the NSBC said the council was emphasizing the life-saving practice of wearing life jackets this year because most boat-accident-related drowning deaths can be avoided. Read the rest »
The father of one of two teens who died in a boating crash last February in Clay County has pled no contest to a charge of reckless boating. The man also pled guilty to an unrelated charge of DUI and could receive a year in jail when he is sentenced at the end of the month.
The man was operating the boat when it sped up and crashed into a low-lying tree branch on Black Creek. The son, a 17-year-old boy and his 15-year-old female friend were sitting on the front of the boat and died from catastrophic head, neck, and chest injuries. The father had gone to the back of the boat and was more than six feet from the controls as he checked the engine and fuel pump. Read the rest »
A boat operator from Deltona, who was behind the wheel of one of two boats involved in a Memorial Day crash in Volusia County, could be charged with three counts of careless operation for the accident that led to the death of three people, including an unborn child, reports The Orlando Sentinel.
An investigation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found the boat operator violated navigation rules regarding speed, proper lookout, and overtaking. Charges are forthcoming in the boating accident case that saw the 25-foot 1989 Chaparral run over the top of an 18-foot Sundance in New Smyrna Beach. Everyone on the two boats was related or friends. A 19-year-old pregnant woman and her unborn child were killed. They were riding in the smaller boat along with her 46-year-old father, who was also killed. All were from Deland. The FFWCC found the smaller boat was in front of the larger boat which suddenly accelerated when the operator was distracted by a passing sport boat. The smaller boat operator was aware of a pregnant woman on board and was following the speed limit. Read the rest »
A father and his four-year-old son are recovering in a hospital after a boat with four people onboard crashed into a dock. It happened in Pottsburg Creek in Jacksonville. Four people were onboard the fishing boat when it struck the dock in the 500 block of Bayridge Road. The man and his son are at Shands Jacksonville Hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Police say they will need facial surgery and that two others on the boat were not injured. We hope and pray for the speedy recovery of a father and his son.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which investigates accidents on the water, says that the father, realizing it was too dark, tried to turn back to the boat ramp. In the dark, nothing looked familiar and the river took a bend at that point. That is where the dock was located, says the FFWCC officer at the scene. Read the rest »
A recent report has stated that on Tuesday, the Coast Guard stopped the official search for two NFL players and a third man missing for more than four days off the west coast of Florida in the Gulf of Mexico. The men went on a fishing trip from Clearwater Pass when winds increased later in the day. Apparently, their boat overturned Saturday in forceful seas of 7-15 foot waves. A fourth man, former South Florida player, Nick Schuyler, was found holding on to the boat’s hull and rescued on Monday.
Schuyler’s doctor says it is a “miracle” that he survived the Florida coast boating accident after spending almost two days in 63-degree water. Read the rest »