With Warmer Weather, Boating Accidents and Injuries Increase

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Anderson, South Carolina has one of the best climates in the country, with four beautiful seasons, a 55,950 acre lake, and miles of gorgeous back roads to explore. As spring approaches, the weather will be warming up soon.  With warmer weather comes more recreational injuries, especially boating and personal watercraft injuries.

Most Common Boating Injuries

The U.S. Coast Guard reported in its 2016 executive summary that there were five top categories of accidents. These are the types of accidents that caused the most injuries and deaths on U.S. waterways in that year; however, a review of past years’ summaries suggests that these tend to be the same year after year.

  • Colliding with recreational vessels
    The Coast Guard reports that there were 1,051 accidents due to recreational boats and watercrafts colliding with each other. This caused 38 deaths and 708 injuries in 2016 alone. Much like a car accident, boaters owe each other certain basic duties, such as the duty to keep a clear look out for others on the water and to operate their boats with due care and caution.
  • Colliding with fixed objects
    As many as 565 accidents involved boaters running into fixed objects. These can be docks, pilings, piers, channel markers, among other things. These caused 63 deaths and 432 injuries in 2016.
  • Flooding and Swamping Accidents
    According to the Coast Guard there were 470 accidents caused by swamping or flooding. Swamping is when a boat takes on water either due to a large wake or waves. These caused 90 deaths and 156 injuries in 2016.
  • Grounding Accidents
    When a boat is operated in shallow waters, it can run aground, causing it to seize and stop abruptly, sending riders overboard and into hard objects like trees, piers, pilings, and other things. There were 413 of these incidents reported, with 13 deaths and 246 injuries.
  • Capsize Accidents
    In 2016, there were 305 reported cases of boats capsizing in U.S. waterways, most of which were recreational vessels operated by regular boaters, not trained professionals. These caused 175 deaths and 200 injuries.

Preventing Boating Accidents in South Carolina

With a long coastline and numerous lakes and rivers, South Carolinians enjoy one of the best places to go boating, but accidents happen. There are some things you can do, however, to keep yourself safe.

  • Stay sober, and don’t ride with a drunk operator (alcohol plays a role in many boating accidents);
  • Know your limitations;
  • Wear a life preserver;
  • Know your boat’s limitations; and
  • Obey waterway signs and warnings.

Injured by a Negligent Boater

The statistics are clear. Every year, thousands of people are seriously injured in boating accidents, often simply because an intoxicated or inexperienced operator was unable to control a boat or react in time to avoid a collision.

If you are injured or someone you care about is seriously hurt or killed by a reckless and negligent boat operator, call the skilled attorneys of The Law Offices of Steven M Krause PA We are a local, dedicated, and experienced group of attorneys who work hard to recover compensation for those who are seriously injured throughout South Carolina. You may not have long to take action, though, so call now for a free consultation. There is no risk, and the telephone call is free.


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