So far this year, 28 people have been killed in Florida boating accidents, and safety officials are concerned that that number could climb significantly during the busy summer boating season. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently issued a report, which indicates that our state’s coastal waters are especially dangerous for boaters, particularly those who don’t wear a life jacket or are passengers on a boat piloted by someone who has not taken a boating safety course. Orlando boating accident attorney James O. Cunningham is alarmed at the numbers of people killed and injured in Florida boating accidents this year and urges everyone to wear a life vest and exercise extra caution on the water.
Andy Bickel is an investigator with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement. He and other accident investigators are appalled at the cavalier attitude of many boaters about safety.
"The frequency of boating accidents in Florida and their causes would probably shock most people," he said.
Monroe County waterways were the most dangerous in Florida for boating accidents in 2011, followed by those in Miami-Dade County. Palm Beach County ranked third with 58 accidents, which killed two people and injured 31 more. Broward County ranked fourth in 2011, with 41 accidents that killed six people and injured 13 more. FWC accident investigators said that the area around Port Everglades, various branches of the New River and the Dania Cut-Off Canal, Pompano Beach and Hillsboro Beach were especially dangerous for boaters.
There were 742 Florida boating accidents in 2011, up sharply from 668 in 2010. These accidents claimed 67 lives, and the most common cause of death was a passenger falling overboard without a life jacket and drowning. Three in four boating accident fatalities involved people who were not wearing life jackets, and one in two involved a boat operator who had not taken a boating safety course.
Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham would like to remind boating enthusiasts to wear a life jacket even if they are good swimmers and ensure that whoever is operating their boat has taken a boating safety course in the recent past. He would also like to remind readers that if they have been injured in a boating accident, they may be entitled to seek damages against the negligent party who caused the accident. If you were injured in a boating accident and have questions about your rights and legal options, call Mr. Cunningham today at 800-425-2004 to schedule a consultation.
James O. Cunningham
Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.
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