The National Safe Boating Council reports that every year there are over 759 boating fatalities. Maritime accidents occurs not only with boats but with other types of watercraft, such as cruise ships. These types of accidents also account for any accident that occurs on a dock, while participating in water sports, or on offshore drilling rigs. Maritime accidents can lead to injury, property damage or even death.
Many occur as a result of recreational watercraft. According to the annual Recreational Boating Statistics publication more than 66% of deaths involving a boat were due to drowning. Of those involved in drowning, 90% of the victims did not have a life jacket. Other statistics include:
• Top factor involved in fatal boating accidents is alcohol-related
• 75% of those who drown were using vessels that are less than 21 feet long
• Each year on average, 22 children who are ages 12 and under die in boating accidents
• Of those children who die in boating accidents, 50% are due to drowning
• Each year an average of 103 people die in accidents with canoes or kayaks
Some of the reasons leading to vessel incidents include:
• Operator inattention
• Reckless or careless operation or behavior
• Excessive speed
• Alcohol use
• Malfunctions of equipment
• Weather conditions
Some of the most common types of watercraft that are reported in boating accidents include open motorboats, personal watercraft and cabin motorboats.
The top five common include:
1. Vessel to vessel collisions
2. Collisions with fixed objects
3. Water skier mishap
4. Boater falling overboard
5. Boat capsizing
Anyone who is involved in any type of maritime accident should immediately seek medical care. Even if an accident seems to be minor you can prevent further health complications from developing by seeking immediate attention.
It is also important that injured parties understand their legal rights when it comes to maritime accidents. You may be eligible for a settlement to compensate you for any injuries sustained or losses endured because of a maritime accident. Documenting the details of an injury is crucial because it can make all the difference when it comes to receiving compensation.
An attorney who specializes in maritime accidents can evaluate your case and help you recover the compensation that you may be due.