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Boating Accidents on the Rise

Posted on Thursday, August 21st, 2014    

Summer is boating season, so many people are out on the water. Every year there are an estimated 74 million people that take to the waterways of America to feed their passion for fun, but the fun sometimes turns to tragedy. According to the United States Coast Guard, boating accidents are on the rise.

The Coast Guard is responsible for patrolling the waterways of America and one of its primary missions is to ensure water safety for anyone who wants to enjoy all that the lakes, rivers and coastlines have to offer. The Coast Guard not only maintains the waterways but sets and enforces safety regulations and educates boaters on water safety. Recently the Coast Guard advised there has been a radical rise in the number of accidents since 2000, and when open water is involved, many of these accidents result in very serious injuries.

The Rise In Boating Accident Numbers

In 2009 in the San Diego Harbor a Petty Officer operating a 33-foot patrol vessel collided with a pleasure boat that had 13 people on board. The accident killed an 8-year-old boy and injured 10 people. The officer was demoted and spent three month in the brig for dereliction of duty after the investigation revealed the officer failed to operate his craft safely and the crew aboard failed to follow standard risk management methods set forth by the Coast Guard.

While this boating accident is the worst in California in recent years, there have been numerous accidents which have cost lives and caused substantial property damage. Investigations have revealed that most of the accidents were a result of inadequate training of boaters or of allowing boaters to operate equipment with which they are not familiar, creating dangerous situations for all involved.

The Coast Guard is not the only agency at fault for improper training or allowing personnel to operate craft in an unsafe manner. The laws in California are very lax when it comes to boating and safety. In California the minimum age to operate a boat is 12 and there is no requirement to complete boating education and safety classes. California is only one of five states that does not require boater education. As a result there have been approximately 2,775 accidents between 2007 and 2012. Bills setting regulations for waterway safety have been introduced several times but have failed to be passed. Investigations found evidence indicating states that require boater education have a lower rate of fatal accidents than states that do not.

Have you or a loved on been injured in a boating accident? The Amerio Law Firm in Sacramento has aggressive attorneys on staff with experience in handling personal injury or wrongful death cases. Let the Amerio Law Firm handle your case. Call us today for a free consultation.

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