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Understanding the most recent fatal boating accident statistics

Boating is an activity that is common for residents and visitors to Florida. While the majority of boaters and passengers make sure to adhere to the proper safety procedures to ensure that everyone who goes out on a boat returns home without injuries or fatalities, there are situations in which accidents do happen. Knowing the statistics and circumstances why these accidents happen can be beneficial to people who have been affected by the loss of a loved one in a fatal boating accident as they consider litigation to pursue compensation.

In 2014, Florida had the highest number of registered boats in the United States -- at slightly fewer than 900,000. Of those, there were 634 reportable boating accidents over the course of the year. The highest number was 163 instances of one vessel crashing into another. This accounted for 26 percent of accidents. Accidents in which a towed watersport was the activity accounted for 16 accidents with 17 injuries. There were personal watercrafts used in three out of the 16. There were 19 accidents involving paddlecraft. 16 people died and five were hurt in those accidents. The month of May had the highest number of accidents with 90.

Fatal accident statistics showed that there were 64 fatal accidents with 73 people dying. Twenty-eight percent of the fatalities came from people falling overboard. This is the main way in which people die on boats. Seventy percent of the people who died drowned. The highest number of fatalities came in July with 17. In 12 percent of accidents, alcohol or drug use was found to have been a reason for the accidents. Sixty-three of the victims who died were male. Fifty-nine percent of the 71 operators of the boats involved in a fatal boating accident were 51-years-old or older. Half of the boats in which there was a fatal accident were up to 16 feet long.

People who decide to spend time on a boat should be aware of the possible dangers that are part of the otherwise enjoyable activity. When there is a fatal boating accident, the statistics are just one part of the equation in a wrongful death claim. Having assistance from a legal professional experienced in pursuing a case due to a fatal boating accident can help claimants with the aftermath of the loss of a loved one.

Source: myfwc.com, "Boating Accident Statistical Report, 2014 Summary -- Page IV," accessed on Nov. 30, 2015

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