Boating may be seen by many as one recreational activity where risk is minor – with all the waters surrounding the vessel, the only danger that anyone could possibly face is if he/she cannot swim and falls overboard. On the contrary, like any other motor vehicle, if a boat operator or passengers fail to observe safety procedures, then they may likely find themselves victims of a serious accident.

The U.S. Coast Guard‘s record for all reported boating accidents in the U.S. shows 651 fatalities and 3,000 injuries under recreational boating for the year 2012. Though these figures have been the lowest since 2004, these can still be significantly reduced since majority of these accidents are due to acts of carelessness or recklessness by the boat operator and/or passengers.

The top causes of boating accidents include excessive speed, machinery failure, improper lookout, operator’s lack of experience, man overboard and capsizing; accidents that have occurred due to these causes, as well as those accidents due to other causes, the ones at fault or those involved were usually drunk boat operators or drunken boat passengers.

Capsizing is this leading cause of fatality in boating accidents. This usually occurs during nightfall, when both intoxication and the darkness begin to cause a boat operator to make poor judgments, especially while anchoring, maneuvering, or docking.

Drinking alcohol while on sea can affect a boat operator’s balance, coordination, vision and judgment much faster than when it is consumed on land. This is due to the overall marine environment, where a boat’s operator and passengers experience the sun, wind, sea water mist or spray, engine noise, vibration and motion. Thus, due to alcohol, capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling overboard have been common cause-of-death reports.

In a website found at www.thebentonlawfirm.com/brownsville/, it is said that “Any accident in which there is an injury is a traumatic experience that can leave its victims in degraded financial, emotional, and physical states. Personal injuries are bodily or emotional harm that occurs as the result of the misconduct of someone else, whether the harm was intentionally inflicted or not. Such injuries have a considerable impact on victims’ lives and should be handled with the care and attention they deserve. Victims often face a variety of setbacks after their injury, including painful recovery periods, expensive treatments, lost time at work, and emotional distress. Financial compensation, though it cannot undo the injury or its lasting effects, can take a considerable burden off the victim and ensure that the party responsible for the injury is held legally and financially responsible.”


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