According to the United States Coast Guard, the main cause of boating accidents leading to death is collisions. Both collisions with another watercraft and collisions with stationary objects rank as leading causes of boating deaths.
However, many fatalities are not caused by boating accidents. The same source notes that drownings are the leading cause of deaths related to boating. If you lost a loved one in a boating accident, our law firm in Florida can help you recover the cost of your damages.
What Type of Boating Emergency Causes The Most Fatalities
Florida prohibits boating while intoxicated. According to Florida Statutes § 327.35, no one is allowed to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.08% or higher.
People found in violation of this law can face similar penalties as if they were operating a motor vehicle while under the influence.
Near-fatal drowning can also cause respiratory distress syndrome, which can be fatal. This can make a person unable to breathe on their own and rely on a machine. Other injuries that can result from boating accidents include burns, traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, and organ damage
Some of the facts surrounding the fatal accidents last year shed light on how boating can be made safer. Where the data was known:
- Over 70 percent involved operators who lacked safety training.
- The leading cause of death was drowning (76 percent), and 85 percent of those victims weren’t wearing life jackets
- Open motorboats had the highest percentage of fatalities (46 percent).
Many of the fatal accidents were caused by the operator of the boat. Chief among those was alcohol use. That was followed by operator inattention and lack of experience, excessive speed, improper lookout and drug use.
Where the environment played a role, hazardous waters were by far the most common cause. That was followed by weather. Improper loading or overloading of the boat were factors in some fatal accidents, as were machinery and equipment failure.
When a friend or colleague invites us to go boating with them, we generally feel like it would be rude to ask to see their training and safety credentials. However, it’s a good idea to know how much experience the operator has with this type of vessel.
According to the Coast Guard data for 2013 from the Boating Accident Report Database more than half of recreational boating injuries (while underway) result from five primary causes: operator inattention, excessive speed, operator inexperience, improper lookout, and alcohol use. The first four are the same as in the Florida Boating Accidents Statistical Report for 2013.
Note that all of these things are in the captain’s control, and all of them fall into the category of being careful and being alert. They are part of that collection of attributes that together define seamanship, and good seamanship is the most effective way to reduce the chances of a collision or someone going overboard. Thanks for readin our article What Type of Boating Emergency Causes The Most Fatalities.