Summer Boating Accidents & Injuries
Boating and other water activities are meant to be fun and carefree. Unfortunately, there are several accidents that can occur because we didn’t take necessary precautions. We have seen countless victims who have endured a personal injury; injuries that could’ve been avoided if individuals abided by boating laws and/or recommendations. This specific blog topic is dedicated to two of the most serious boating injuries that can occur if such boating laws and boating safety recommendations go unfollowed.
Boat Propeller Accidents
Propeller accidents are one of the most common and horrific incidents that can happen while boating. Anyone who is swimming, water-skiing or who has fallen overboard is at risk for getting injured if they are near or around a propeller. Many of these accidents occur because of operator inexperience, negligence or intoxication. These types of accidents can cause severe personal injuries such as concussions, internal bleeding from blunt force and even amputation. To prevent this accident from happening, the Georgia boating handbook offers the following tips:
- Never start a boat with the engine in gear.
- Never ride on a seat back, gunwale, transom, or bow.
- Make sure all passengers are seated properly before getting underway. Some operators cause injuries by putting the engine in gear while people are still standing, swimming or diving from the boat.
- Assign a responsible adult to watch any children in the boat and sound the alarm if a child falls overboard.
Additionally, operators need to do the following if individuals are in the water:
- Slow down when approaching congested areas and anchorages. In congested areas, always be alert for swimmers and divers.
- Learn to recognize warning buoys that mark swimming and other hazardous areas.
- Keep the boat away from marked swimming and diving areas. Become familiar with the red flag with a white diagonal stripe and the blue-and-white “Alfa” flag – both signal that divers are down.
Circle of Death
The second, most common boating accident is when the operator lets go of the steering wheel while the boat is still moving. It is a term safety officials and boating experts call “torque forces.” Torque forces refer to the events that cause the motor to slam to the left, causing the vessel to swerve sharply to the right; throwing the victim into the water. While this may seem fun, it is incredibly dangerous as the boat continues to travel in a circle and then strikes the victim in the water. The term used for this type of accident is “circle of death.”
Minimize torque forces and avoid the circle of death – just don’t ever let go of the wheel!
At Kaine Law, we want you to enjoy a summer out on the water, but it is also crucial to know the rules for safe boating. Far too many injuries and deaths have occurred because proper boating safety was not followed. If you operate a vessel or are a passenger, it is beneficial to know how your boat operates and to abide by the laws while on the water. If you have been injured or know someone who has been injured due to a boating accident, please contact our office immediately.