Recreational boating is enjoyed by millions of Americans, especially in Florida. But with so many people enjoying time on the water, boating accidents are on the rise.
There are myriad reasons boating accidents happen, but inattention is the most common. The next time you hit the water, remember the most common accidents below and stay safe.
Causes Of Boating Accidents
When going on a boat, you grab your boat cover, life preservers, and sunscreen for a day of fun of relaxation. But operator inattention can turn a fun day into a tragedy. Some of the other reasons boating accidents happen, according to The US Coast Guard, are:
1. Operator inexperience:
Most people don’t operate a boat as often as they drive a car. If the operator isn’t experienced with operating and maneuvering a boat safely, serious and even fatal accidents can happen. Many accidents happen because rookie operators think they don’t need to pay attention because it's open water.
Just like with vehicles on the road, speeding in a watercraft can lead to fatal outcomes. It’s quite easy to lose control of a boat and get in a serious accident.
3. Drinking and boating:
Alcohol causes many boating accidents. As with cars, drinking and boating lead to impaired judgment and reflexes that may be fatal.
4. Improper lookout:
Every watercraft should have one person in addition to the operator who is keeping a watch for obstructions, objects, and other boaters. If any is drinking on the boat, make sure the lookout is sober.
5. Poor weather:
It’s common for inexperienced boaters to be caught in bad weather that happens suddenly. Make sure to check the weather forecast before hitting the water.
Remember to avoid these situations, so you and your friends don’t experience one of these accidents:
Going overboard is the most frequent boating accident that causes fatalities. This accident happens when the boater falls overboard, either when the boat is in motion or sitting still.
Overboard injuries and deaths are particularly frustrating because they can easily be avoided. First, make sure everyone in the boat has a life jacket and wears it. Second, be certain that everyone is seated in the boat when it’s moving. These rules would prevent most overboard injuries and deaths.
This is another term for a boat overturning. It can happen if the boat turns too fast or an object or wave flips the boat.
Capsizing accidents can be avoided by traveling at legal speeds and keeping a sharp lookout for objects in the water. If the boat is piloted responsibly, most capsizing incidents would never happen.
It’s critical to ensure the boat is in good shape before hitting the water. If there is too much water in the boat from rain or a leak, the entire vessel may sink.
Collision With Object
This common accident happens when the moving boat hits an object in the water. Common objects include rocks, docks, land, and tree stumps.
It’s easy to miss a small object in the water that can lead to a serious accident, so be sure your lookout is keeping an eye out when the boat is in motion.
These accidents lead to far too many accidents and deaths in boats annually. Practicing foresight and good boat safety can prevent you and your friends and family members from enduring a tragedy on the water.
Now you know what causes most boating accidents and how to enjoy them, so you can stay safe and have fun.