July 11th, 2012 - by DKRPA
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission released new data about 2011 boating accidents, and the numbers show that Palm Beach County ranked third for most waterborne crashes in the state of Florida.
Monroe County (which includes the Keys) had the most accidents, followed by Miami-Dade County. But with 58 wrecks, 31 injuries and two deaths related to boating accidents, Palm Beach County residents need to proceed with caution when they hit the water.
Florida experienced more boating accidents in 2011 (742) than in 2010 (668); however the number of fatal crashes declined (from 79 to 67).
There were two common factors in these boating accidents, both of which could make one (or multiple) parties liable should a victim be injured in a boating accident and decide to pursue a personal injury lawsuit.
The first is a failure to put on a life jacket. About 76% of the fatal accidents involved an individual who did not have a life jacket on. While it is not required for people over the age of six to wear a life jacket, all boats must carry them to ensure the safety of the vessel’s passengers.
The other major contributing factor to a boating accident was a lack of safety training for the vessel’s pilot. Roughly 51% of the accidents involved a boat operator who did not attend a safety course — which is required for those born on January 1, 1988 or after. That can make older (and supposedly more experienced) operators more liable in boating accidents than younger pilots, who have had the safety course and have learned valuable safety provisions.
Source: Sun Sentinel, “South Florida boating accidents kill 11, injure 91 in 2011,” David Fleshler, July 10, 2012