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FWC Urges Boaters to Follow Safety Rules

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on November 6, 2009

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission urge boaters and their passengers to take a refresher course in boating safety for everyone’s benefit. Florida’s waterways and coasts offer some of the best recreational boating in the country. However, on too many occasions the operators of watercraft fail to honor their responsibilities and drink alcohol to the excess while on the water, don’t observe speed and wake restrictions and people are hurt and killed.

Under Florida law, it is illegal to operate a vessel of any kind while impaired by alcohol and other drugs. An operator suspected of boating under the influence must submit to sobriety tests and a physical or chemical test to determine blood-alcohol content. As with motor vehicle sobriety laws, a vessel operator is legally drunk with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or above.

Each vessel operator is responsible for operating their vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner with regard for other boats, posted restrictions, diver-down flags and other situations so that they do not present a danger to other people or property. Anyone who operates their vessel with willful disregard for the safety of people or property can be cited for reckless operation, which is a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida.

When a boating accident occurs where there is personal injury that requires more than immediate first-aid, such as death, disappearance of a person, or damage to the vessel of personal property of at least $2000, the operator of the vessel is required to notify law enforcement authorities as quickly as possible. They must contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the county sheriff where the accident occurred, or the chief of police in or nearest to the town where the accident occurred. It is illegal for any vessel operator involved in a boating accident to leave the scene without giving all possible aid to anyone injured and without reporting the accident to the authorities.

Irresponsible boat operators change the course of hundreds of lives every year in Florida. Through the negligence of others, people are severely injured or killed in boating accidents. Orlando boating accident attorney James O. Cunningham has been helping victims of boating accidents since 1977. If you or someone you care for has been injured or killed in a boating accident, schedule a free consultation by calling the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham today.

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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