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Boating Safety Tips and Florida Boating Accident Statistics

Florida’s boating season never really ends, but this is the time of year that traffic starts getting heavy on our state’s waterways. With that in mind, Orlando personal injury lawyer James O. Cunningham would like to remind boaters and passengers about some basic boating safety rules. First, Florida law states that anyone aboard a watercraft on state waters must have a United States Coast Guard-approved flotation device easily accessible. Only those aged six years and younger must wear a flotation device at all times, but recent high-profile drowning deaths serve as a sober reminder that it is very risky to go boating without a life vest no matter how good a swimmer you may be.

If you operate a boat that is 16 feet or longer off the coast or in any of our state’s intracoastal waterways, you must have a throwable cushion or ring onboard in case someone goes overboard. These are also known as “Type-4” flotation devices. Life vests are very inexpensive, and conscientious boat owners should make sure to have at least one for every person aboard their vessels. To illustrate the importance of taking proper safety precautions while boating, consider the following Florida boating accident statistics:

•    Sixty-five people died in Florida boating accidents in 2009 with 85 percent of the victims aged 21 and over.

•    According to the Florida Department of Health, an astonishing 485 people drowned in Florida in 2009 with 72 percent aged 25 and over.

•    Of those drowning victims, 73 percent were described as capable swimmers.

As you can see, being a strong swimmer is not enough to prevent anyone from becoming a drowning victim. With so many boating accidents on Florida waterways each year, it is in everyone’s best interests to review boating rules and regulations. For information, please visit the website of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at http://myfwc.com/boating/.

If you are one of the many people injured in Florida boating accidents each year and have questions about your rights and legal options, call Orlando personal injury attorney James O. Cunningham at 888-425-2004 or 407-425-2000 to schedule a consultation. The consultation is free and confidential, and Mr. Cunningham answers questions in plain language so that you can make informed decisions about your options. He has been helping injured people since 1977. Call today to get his experience and skills on your side!

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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Florida Personal Injury Office Locations

Main Office

Orlando Personal Injury Office:
3117 Edgewater Dr
Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: 407-425-2000
Toll Free: 877-FL-INJURY
                 (877-354-6587)
Fax: 407-843-8274

Seminole County

Lake Mary Office:
1001 Heathrow Park Lane
Suite 4001
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 407-487-4408

Osceola County

Kissimmee Office:
17 S. Orlando Ave.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-966-4408

Volusia County

Daytona Beach Office:
1301 Beville Rd., Suite 8
Daytona Beach, FL 32119
Phone: 386-243-4994

DeBary Office:
465 Summerhaven Drive, Suite C
DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: 386-320-3911

Deland Office:
Downtown Executive Center
120 South Woodland Blvd.
Deland, FL 32720
Phone: 386-206-1264

Citrus County

Inverness Office:
110 North Apopka Ave.
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-205-4341

Polk County

Lakeland Office:
1102 S. Florida Ave., Suite 104
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-968-7551

Winter Haven Office:
325 Avenue A, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: 863-968-7173

Hillsborough County

Tampa Office:
100 S. Edison St. Suite D
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-355-9772

Marion-Sumter Counties

The Villages Office:
3420 U.S. Hwy. 27/441
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone: 352-419-0825

Lake County

Mt. Dora Office:
602 East 5th Ave.
Mt. Dora, FL 32757
Phone: 352-436-4696

Clermont Office:
900 W. Highway 50
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: 352-503-4674

Brevard County

Titusville Office:
506 S. Palm Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 321-222-7300

Cocoa Office:
96 Willard Street
Suite 206,
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: 321-757-1373