In the summer, many people take to the water and those fortunate enough to own a boat will sometimes invite family members and friends. Alcohol frequently becomes a part of these get-togethers. A staff member of the American Boating Association stated that boating and alcohol tend to go together but they really should not. In fact, alcohol can be a very dangerous thing as it relates to boating and can, in the most serious circumstances, cause death.
The #1 Cause Of Boating Fatalities
The United States Coast Guard recently published a paper entitled “Recreational Boating Statistics Report.” This report set out a number of fascinating findings but perhaps the most troubling was the fact that alcohol was the primary factor of all boating fatalities in 2019. It was also the fifth most common reason behind boating accidents.
For some inexplicable reason, and perhaps as a result of the pandemic, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection found that boat registrations in Connecticut almost doubled in 2020. One local restaurant owner, located on Candlewood Lake, indicated that it was a lot busier on the lake than it had been in prior years. In 2021, although the boating season is just beginning, and already there have been two boating fatalities.
Potential Factors of Boating Injuries
According to statistics, July is the busiest month for boating accidents. There are a number of things that can, in conjunction with alcohol, increase the likelihood of accidental injury. These would include but are not limited to:
It is important to be mindful of these additional stressors that can greatly reduce a person's ability to safely operate a boat after the operator has been drinking.
Avoiding Injury and Death on a Boat
There are a number of things that people can do to help reduce boating accidents or lessen the chances of serious injury or death while operating a vessel on the waterways. First and foremost, you should not drink alcohol if you are going to operate the boat. You should make sure that all of the safety equipment is checked and that the boat is seaworthy. Lifejackets should be worn by all people on the boat to lessen the risk of injury or death.
Lastly, operating a boat is very different than driving a car. No matter the skill level or experience of operating a boat, there are a number of hazards to be aware of, in addition to a number of unknowns that occur while on the water. There could be a multitude of other boats or individuals in the body of water, the conditions could be rough or choppy which tend to make it more difficult to navigate a boat safely, and there are inherent problems in stopping or turning a boat which make it especially difficult for an inexperienced boat operator.
With 2,559 recreational boating injuries in 2019 alone, it is crucial that you exercise extreme caution while out on the waterways so you can enjoy the day and create wonderful memories with your family and guests.
What to do After a Boating Accident
If you or anyone you know has been injured in any type of boating accident, our experienced Connecticut injury lawyers would be happy to speak with you and specifically advise you as to what you should and should not be doing. You will not have to come up with any money out of your own pocket to have us represent you as these cases are handled on a contingency fee basis where we advance the costs to develop your case.
Enjoy the summer season, have fun boating, and above all, be careful!