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BOAT ACCIDENTS

All along the Gulf Coast, people spend their summers enjoying the beautiful beaches, amazing fishing, and gorgeous coastal waters. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, in 2007, boating accidents across the state of Florida resulting in 128 injuries and 16 deaths.

Personal watercraft (“PWC”) are a type of recreational boat which has become increasingly popular in recent years, especially here on the beautiful Emerald Coast. Manufacturers estimate that approximately 200,000 PWC’s are sold each year and that there are more than one million currently in operation in the United States alone.

 

Although the overall number of recreational boating fatalities has declined in recent years, the number of personal watercraft related fatalities continues to increase. PWC’s are the only type of water recreational vessel for which the leading cause of fatalities is not drowning; in personal watercraft fatalities, more persons die from blunt force trauma than from drowning. Some of the safety concerns associated with personal watercraft death and injuries include counterintuitive operating characteristics like off-throttle steering, the lack of appropriate operator training, and improper and inadequate warnings. Accidents can happen in a variety of circumstances such as:

 

  • Collisions with other boats
  • Jetski and Waverunner accidents
  • Scuba diving and snorkeling
  • Parasailing accidents
  • Kitesurfing and windsurfing
  • Waterskiing and tubing accidents
  • Boating under the influence of alcoholic beverages

It is critical in a boating accident to determine which laws apply. Depending on where your boating accident occurred, Florida law, Federal Maritime law, or a combination of both could apply. This must be determined as quickly as possible because of the different procedures and statute of limitations that apply to each type of claim. If you or someone you know has been involved in a serious Florida boating accident, contact the lawyers at Michles & Booth, P.A., for a free consultation, and don’t let yourself be a victim twice.

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