It’s officially boating season and the weekends are meant to make waves on one of Georgia’s many lakes. No matter which Georgia lake you choose, it’s important to know the ins and outs of boating safety. While boating is a fun pastime, it can also bear tragedy if not done responsibly.
The United States Coast Guard released a study that counted 4,291 accidents that involved 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries and approximately $46 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. The fatality rate (5.5 deaths per 100,000 registered vessels) decreased slightly from the previous year’s report at 5.9 deaths. Although there was a decrease in fatalities, the number of boating injuries has remained steady.
Fatal Boat Accidents
The U.S. Coast Guard found that 20% of boating accident fatalities occurred on boats where the boat operators did not receive proper boating safety instruction. Conversely, only 13% of boating accident deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received adequate boating safety instructions from a U.S. Coast Guard approved boating safety course.
While we may look forward to many Georgia lake weekends ahead, we cannot ignore how quickly boating-fun can turn to boating-tragedy. People, as young as 6 months, have died because the boat operator didn’t know how to properly drive the boat, was boating under the influence of alcohol or wasn’t paying attention to other boats on the water.
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources released their most recent boating statistics for the state of Georgia. Predictably, alcohol was involved 15 times and there were 16 total fatalities. Irresponsibility plays a large role in these statistics and it is pertinent in putting an end to Georgia boating accidents. Please take time to talk to your children, friends and family before enjoying a weekend on the water.
Kaine Law is a personal injury law firm representing injured accident victims in Georgia. With offices in Atlanta, Conyers, Lawrenceville and Stockbridge, Kaine Law’s personal injury attorneys specialize in representing injured motorcycle accident victims, injured car accident victims, injured boat accident victims, injured dog bite victims and injured pedestrian accident victims. Kaine Law represents their injured accident victim clients using a contingency fee agreement which provides that there are no legal fees unless we win.