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Father Son Recovering after Boat Crash

Posted on February 3, 2010

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.

Fortunately it was not traveling at a fast rate of speed, about 20 mph, so nobody was ejected. The little boy was the only one wearing a life jacket, which is required by Florida law.

Florida Boating Laws
Florida law requires there to be a floatation device for every person as part of the required equipment on the water. That’s because even an adult can lose consciousness and a life jacket is the only thing that will keep your head above water and increase your chance of survival. In this case, the boat went under the dock, which could have easily knocked someone out. Luckily, only the windshield was broken.

Florida law also requires anyone born after January 1, 1988 to carry a Boating Safety Education ID Card in order to legally operate a boat in Florida. That is because the state is the Top Ten state for fatalities. In 2007, there were 77 boating fatalities in Florida, which exceeds the next closes state, California at 48 fatalities, according to Fish and Wildlife. By 2008, that number had dropped to 54.

A collision with a fixed object is the fourth leading cause of boating accident after falling overboard, capsizing, and collision with a vessel. When you look at the stats with the state, the primary cause of death onboard a boat is drowning (70 %), followed by trauma (30%). Overwhelmingly, males (96%) are the operators. If you have been injured in a boating accident, please contact a Jacksonville boat accident attorney who can help you with answers you need to get your life back in order.

Sources:http://www.news4jax.com/news/22357973/detail.html;http://www.myfwc.com/docs/Safety/2008_Boating_Statbook_fatality.pdf