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Boating accident frequency and its aftermath in Florida

Given the warm weather in Brevard County, boating is an activity that many enjoy year-round. While most boaters take great care to adhere to the proper safety procedures and manage to avoid having an accident, sometimes they're unavoidable for many different reasons. The statistics for these accidents shine a light into the dynamics of a boating accident, what their reasons are and how they're dealt with.

The state of Florida had the highest number of registered water vessels in the country in 2013 with nearly 900,000. In that year, there were 736 boating accidents reported.

The highest number of accidents with injuries happened in Miami-Dade with 104. Four were fatal and 50 involved injuries. Watersport activities in which there was towing lead to 26 accidents. Two people died and 26 were hurt. The highest number of accidents occurred in May.

When it comes to fatalities, 42 percent happened when people fell overboard. Likewise, nearly three quarters of the deaths were because of drowning. The highest number of people died in December with 12. Also, in 15 percent of the fatalities, an intoxicated boater was involved.

The vast majority of people who died - 84 percent - were male. Overall, 62 people died. More than 70 percent of the 57 operators who were involved in a fatal boat accident were over 35. Nearly half of the accidents in which there was a fatality happened on watercrafts that were 16 feet long or less. In 2013, there were 420 injuries suffered in 736 accidents on the water.

Most people take precautions when they're enjoying a day out on the water. However, many also drink alcohol when they're boating. While that, in and of itself, might not be a problem, those who are operating their watercrafts have a responsibility to others that they're in a sober state to ensure safety. Regardless of the reason for a boating accident whether it's due to a drunk driver or any other circumstances, the aftermath can be long-lasting and harsh. Those who were hurt or lost a loved one should discuss their case with a lawyer that has experience in cases involving boats.

Source: myfwc.com, "Boating Accidents Statistical Report, page VI," accessed on Jan. 13, 2015

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