Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

Miami boating accident attorney Joseph Lipsky is disappointed to report that according to a recently released report from the United States Coast Guard, Florida again, now for the fifth straight year, ranks first nationwide in recreational boating accidents and deaths. More specifically, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission confirmed that the Florida Keys holds the dubious honor of being the most dangerous part of the state.

The Coast Guard’s report confirmed that Florida had the most dangerous waterways, as they were the scene of nearly 700 boat and jet ski accidents last year. In fact, Florida’s waterways were more than twice as dangerous as California, the next ranked stated. Florida had 679 boating accidents which resulted in 55 wrongful deaths. The property damage from those accidents was almost ten million dollars.  And while the number of accidents and personal injuries rose by two percent from the prior year, fatalities actually dropped by the same amount.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife report, Monroe County was followed by Miami-Dade in the greatest number of accidents. The Keys had ninety boat accidents with six deaths. Miami Dade had seventy-three accidents with two deaths. Due to the number of locals and tourists enjoying the Keys to fish and dive, it is not surprising that that destination is the most dangerous.

While we spend much of our time educating our fellow Floridians about car accident prevention, as we live in the boating capital of American, Miami personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky reminds us about the dangers which exist on our waterways.

While most people consider the Florida Keys as the boating accident leader, Miami Dade County sadly actually had double the amount of boating accident wrongful deaths than the Keys, making Miami Dade as the deadliest of Florida’s sixty-seven counties, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The study analyzed all “reportable” boating accidents which resulted in wrongful death, personal injury or over two thousand dollars of property damage, which actually dropped by over 15% of the past year. Yet, despite the drop of such accidents, there was actually a 20% increase in Florida’s boating accident which resulted in wrongful death over the same time period.

Having represented many families who’ve lost loved ones in deadly boating accidents throughout our South Florida waterways, Miami personal injury attorney Joseph Lipsky is too familiar with the dangers most people forget are associated with the usually enjoyable recreation of boating. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission sadly more than 62 people were the victims of maritime accidents last year in Florida.

Considering we are entering the Summer season, in which many Miami residents take to the bay for a day of skiing or diving, the authorities hope, and we suggest, that boaters take the appropriate actions to avoid being in a boating accident. While failing to pay attention, or having a proper lookout is the usual reason for a boat accident, driving under the influence and drowning are two of the most preventable activities. Particularly with children, the use of a life vest is not only mandatory, but good common sense.

Some of the other boating behavior to be avoided according to the Coast Guard include:

Not surprisingly, given our location and the number of boaters in Florida, we again lead the nation in the number of boating accident fatalities. Unfortunately, Miami-Dade County has the dubious distinction of leading the State, having had 13 such wrongful deaths last year.

The findings, reported by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, revealed that 77 people suffered wrongful deaths on Florida waters in 2007. Apparently the vast majority of all boating accidents occurred with operators who had no safety training.

Thankfully, the State has finally approved plans to increase mandatory boater education requirements over the next decade. The hope is that this increased training will reduce fatalities by as much as 25 percent; we certainly share the State’s hope.

A late night car accident in Hollywood, Florida, between a car and a tractor trailer resulted in the wrongful death of the car’s driver. The car was heading south on the Florida Turnpike when it apparently lost control, crashed through a concrete wall and into oncoming traffic.

Dradine Knowles of Lauderhill, a suburb of Ft. Lauderdale, apparently lost control of her car a couple of miles south of Hollywood Boulevard. According the the Florida Highway Patrol, the 2006 Chevy HHR smashed through the concrete barrier wall, which divided north and southbound traffic, and then went into oncoming northbound traffic, when it collided with the truck.

We can only assume was another case of failing to use a seat belt, both the car’s driver and passenger were ejected into the street. We again stress to all drivers that the consequences of not using seat belts and child car seats are unfortunately deadly.

In an alarming trend, another Florida jet ski rider died, and another passenger was critically injured, when their Jet Ski collided with a dock in Pompano Beach. This was at least the third such death caused by a jet ski accident in South Florida over the past few months.

Considering the number Jet Ski operators in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties who are untrained and inexperienced, we, unfortunately, expect these types of accidents resulting in wrongful deaths to continue. As such, it is not surprising that Miami-Dade and Broward Counties dubiously rank in the top ten Florida Counties for such boating accidents.

Currently there are no mandatory training requirements for Jet Ski operators in Florida. In fact, Florida Law allows anyone over the age of 14 to operate one of these personal water crafts, some of which reach speeds of greater than 30 m.p.h., without any adult supervision. Sadly, many victims learn too late that these vessels usually will not respond or turn if the throttle is not engaged.

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