As 4th of July approaches, many Florida residents will take to the water to celebrate and this means more boating related injuries. Florida leads the nation in the number of registered boat owners totaling 899,635 per the latest reports.
Florida also leads the nation in the number of boating fatalities. Drugs and alcohol played a role in 15% of deaths last year alone. Of the 73 deaths and 365 injuries that occurred just last year on the water (down from 420 in 2013)- Volusia county ranked in the top 10 counties.
Boaters falling overboard and drowning is the leading cause of death among boaters.
Safe boating is a choice and currently the “Wear It Florida” campaign is encouraging boat safety by promoting life jacket use whenever boaters are on the water.
As long as the boat’s pilot is not impaired, it is perfectly legal to drink alcohol while boating in Florida.
If you plan to enjoy the water this summer Thomas Nicholl Law Firm encourages you to stay safe and eliminate boating under the influence-related accidents.
If you plan to go boating this summer here are a few safety tips from the Florida Fish and Wildlife:
- Always be weather-wise
- Use common sense
- Designate an assistant skipper
- Float plan- let family or others know of your itinerary
- Have enough life jackets and wear them!
- Consider a FREE vessel safety check from the US Coast Guard
- Learn to swim
If boating with pets always keep fresh drinking water available, provide a shaded area, and protect their feet as well as keep a pet lifejacket available.