According to the United States Coast Guard, the reasons most people get hurt on a boat are “mundane.” These simple reasons for boating accidents can lead to serious health problems and even death.
The top 5 reasons people are injured on boats are:
- Running aground. Boating accidents are most common when the boat is being used in ways that it wasn’t intended. Neck and back injuries can occur when boats hit higher land. Additionally, a number of people have been injured or killed when trying to move a boat that is stuck. Recently, Miami celebrity DJ Laz was in the news when a nearby boater was killed when he came too close to the DJ’s propeller as he was trying to dislodge his boat that ran aground.
- Falling on a boat or falling overboard. Between water, sunscreen, fishing equipment and a boat that is moving, it’s common for people to be injured in a fall on a boat or fall off a boat. Wearing a life jacket is required for boaters under a certain age to prevent drowning in case they fall overboard. Serious injuries can be sustained when falling on or off a boat.
- Speeding at night. The United States Coast Guard says that most serious boating accidents happen at night and when speed is involved. Boating at night is dangerous. Boaters can not trust their sense to make decisions and lighting is dismal at best.
- Alcohol. An impaired boat captain makes bad decisions that put themselves and their boating passengers at risk. A 2018 report cited alcohol as the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. 100 boating deaths were attributed to alcohol consumption in 2018.
- Lacking Proper Safety Gear. Improper use and lack of safety gear top the list of reasons people are injured on a boat. When an emergency does happen, not having the proper equipment can mean the difference between a small injury and a life-threatening one. Life jackets, communication equipment, First Aid kits, and more are all required items on a boat. Yet, all too often boaters are not using or don’t know how to properly use these items.
If you’re hurt boating, you should immediately seek medical attention and consult an attorney about your options.