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Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

hudson-beach-317555_1920-300x200Three people from Tennessee were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard on Wednesday after their boat capsized in Clearwater about 15 miles off of Florida’s Gulf Coast. 

In a news release, the agency said that they were called at 2:09 p.m. by the boaters from Cookeville, Tennessee who told them their fishing boat was flooding and they needed help right away. 

The Coast Guard sent out a helicopter crew who found the trio wearing life jackets and hanging on to their sunken boat. 

The three men had been in the water for about an hour when they were rescued. They were taken by helicopter to Tampa General Hospital to be evaluated for any injuries. There have been no updates made on their condition. 

The article mentioned that the helicopter co-pilot said the three men did everything right to save themselves. They called for help first, wore their lifejackets, and stayed with their vessel. 

According to the United States Coast Guard, your only priority if you capsize is to survive. This brings up the question of what to do if this happens to you while you are on the water. 

Boats that capsize are a leading contributor to recreational boating deaths and serious injuries. Inclement weather, boater inexperience, and overloading the boat can all lead to a vessel overturning. You can prevent a capsize from happening by practicing good seamanship. You want to make sure you do not overload your vessel, distribute all gear and passengers evenly so the boat has better stability, avoid anchoring from the stern at all times, navigate the vessel at controlled speeds, and stay constantly alert to other boats and waves. The Coast Guard encourages all boat drivers to slow down when encountering a large wave and try to take it head on or at an angle, but never try to power through it. 

In order to safely take a boat out on any body of water, you need to have adequate safety supplies. You will want to have extra life jackets, emergency equipment and signalling devices that you can put into your “ditch bag” on board your vessel. You and all passengers should always be wearing life jackets. It is a great idea to consider purchasing what is called an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), which is a device that can tell rescue crews that you need emergency help and provide them with  your exact location. 

In the event that the boat you are on does capsize, you should make sure all passengers are accounted for and stay with the boat. The Coast Guard does not advise trying to swim for shore. A capsized boat may recover on its own, and it is very unlikely the vessel will sink even if it has overturned or flooded. 

Staying with the boat will help emergency crews find you. The only time you will want to swim away from the boat is if it is heading toward a hazard. Other than that, your boat is the biggest and most visible object in the water, which is why the Coast Guard says you should stay with it. 

According to a 2019 report released by the U.S. Coast Guard, recreational boating accident fatalities decreased by 3.2% from 2018. A total of 613 boating deaths occurred across the U.S. in 2019. The total number of boating accidents actually increased from 4,145 in 2018 to 4,168 in 2019. Of those accidents, 2,559 people suffered non-fatal injuries. 

Alcohol was the leading cause of deadly boating accidents in 2019, accounting for 23% of total fatalities (over 100 deaths.) The other top four contributing factors to recreational boating accidents were excessive speed, operator inattention, operator inexperience, and improper lookout. 

These statistics serve as a reminder that all boaters must behave responsibly on the water. Everyone should wear a life jacket, enroll in a boating safety course, get their boat checked regularly, attach the engine cut-off switch, and never operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

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Rescuers pulled nine people from the water following a boat accident near Sarasota on Sunday afternoon.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said two boats collided just south of the Stickney Point Bridge in Sarasota.

Many of the people who went into the water were not wearing life jackets. One of the boats was still drivable, but the other had to be towed away after flipping over and capsizing.

FWC said one person was seriously injured, and three patients in total were taken to the Sarasota Memorial Hospital. In all, nine people were rescued from the water.

The circumstances surrounding the accident are still unclear. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.

There are many reasons boat accidents occur. These can include speeding, errors by operators, insufficient training or knowledge of watercraft operation or equipment, defects in boat components or equipment, improper maintenance, and other issues, such as accidents involving intoxicated boat operators.

Boating accident injuries, which often result after a collision, can be wide ranging, with the most serious being wrongful death. Serious injuries like head and brain injuries, spinal cord trauma, broken bones, fractures, and other injuries can be sustained on small boats and large vessels alike. As the waterways become more congested, boating accidents have certainly been on the rise.

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Two people were injured in a boat crash in Tampa on Sunday, according to authorities.

The crash happened in the area of Channel Drive and Cayuga Avenue, near Davis Islands.

Tampa Fire Rescue believe a boat hit a pole and crashed.

Both people on the boat were injured. They were transported to a hospital unknown conditions.

No other details were immediately available.

Florida is a beautiful state that is abundant in rivers, lakes, and waterways. Many residents and visitors alike take advantage of the state’s beauty and enjoy various boating activities like fishing, skiing, tubing, and relaxing on the water. Sadly, accidents can occur while on the water. Personal injuries resulting from a boating accident are handled in a similar fashion to a car accident.

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Two people have died after two personal watercrafts collided in Tampa.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said a 42-year-old Tampa man was fatally injured when his watercraft collided Monday in the waters off Tampa with a watercraft driven by a 41-year-old Clearwater woman.

The man died at a hospital Monday.

The wildlife commission said the woman was critically injured in the crash and died Tuesday at a hospital.

Authorities are still investigating the crash.

Boats are not the only causes of water-related accidents in Tampa. Jet Skis and other personal watercraft vessels are often to blame. Many people view these pieces of equipment as toys, so they fail to take the necessary safety precautions, but the truth is, they can be quite dangerous when used incorrectly.

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A man is dead after a boat capsized Saturday afternoon in Tampa, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

The incident happened shortly before 2 p.m. in Hillsborough Bay just south of Davis Islands.

Emergency responders arrived at the scene after receiving 911 calls about six people clinging to a buoy.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office used boats to pull some five people out of the water. One of the people recovered from the water, a 57-year-old man, died from his injuries.

One person was able to swim to Beer Can Island and was rescued by MacDill Air Force Base Marine Patrol.

One person was transported to a hospital for treatment.

FWC is conducting an investigation of the boating incident.

The boat, which sunk, will be retrieved once the weather improves.

Just like anyone driving a vehicle on the road, boat operators have a responsibility to control their vehicles safely on the water. Operators must understand how to navigate the vessel properly, travel at appropriate speeds, comply with all laws, and never operate the watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Not all boating accidents can be attributed to operator negligence or inexperience, though. Boating and watercraft accidents can also result from poor maintenance or defective boating design.

Issues that arise in boating accidents, such as proving negligence and responsibility, are similar to car accident and truck accident cases. However, when water is involved, there are additional factors that require the expertise and knowledge of a Tampa Bay Boating Accident Attorney at Whittel & Melton.

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A man was killed and a woman hospitalized after a Sunday afternoon incident at the Courtney Campbell Causeway boat ramp.

According to Tampa Fire Rescue, two people were in a boat that hit something in the water.

No further information was immediately available.

Even if you are operating your boat safely and carefully, it is sometimes impossible to avoid an accident. Our Tampa Bay Boating Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton have guided many Tampa Bay area residents through boating accident cases. The injuries sustained during a boating accident can be severe, which can create a stressful scenario for you and your family. We want to help you through this difficult time.

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Fourth of July weekend is here! This is a holiday that brings thousands of boaters to the water. More boaters means more boats and people on the water, more alcohol, and an increased risk of accidents and arrests for Boating Under the Influence (BUI).

Keep in mind that police will be on the lookout for drunk boaters this holiday weekend. With that said, you should practice safe boating habits and make sure that you are vigilant about the safety of everyone on board your vessel.

Studies show that the majority of boating accidents occur between the months of June, July and August, on Saturday or Sunday, between 12pm and 6pm. The majority of boating accidents involve operators between the ages of 20 and 40. In the state of Florida, it is required that anyone born after Jan. 1, 1988 must have completed a boater education course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), or passed an approved equivalency exam before operating a boat with an engine of more than 10 horsepower.

The Coast Guard rescued four boaters Saturday morning after their boat capsized 12 miles west of Johns Pass.

According to the Coast Guard, four Clearwater residents were saved after one of the men on board called 9-1-1 when he realized his 29-foot boat had begun taking on water just after 5:18 a.m.

The dispatcher was able to tell the caller to ‘don their life jackets,’ before communications were lost. A Coast Guard boat crew from St. Petersburg and an aircrew aboard an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Clearwater responded.

The helicopter arrived on scene at 6:20 a.m. and hoisted all four out of danger. They were all wearing their lifejackets.

No injuries were reported.

This case is an example of how important it is to have working radio communications and life jackets aboard your vessel. Thankfully, these boaters were prepared for the worst and were able to immediately call for help, and were able to be rescued swiftly and without any injuries.

Florida actually has more boating accidents every year than any other state. Many of these accidents occur because people fail to realize the dangers of operating a watercraft and do not understand the proper nautical safety laws and protocols. Our Tampa Bay Boating Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton know that education is crucial to limiting boat accidents.

It is important that you contact us if you or a loved one were involved in a boating accident. Maritime laws can be complicated, and we can help you comply with filing deadlines and all other requirements.

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A man on a jet ski has been killed in a crash near a Captiva Island resort.

Officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement that the crash happened Monday night near South Seas Resort.

Officials believe the  victim’s watercraft hit a pole and he was thrown into the water. The man was wearing a life vest.

It is unclear at this time if the man was a guest at the resort.

In a study conducted by the University of Florida, researchers found that jet ski accidents result in much more significant injuries than other types of boating mishaps. The most common jet ski injuries include head injuries and serious trauma to the chest and abdominal areas. Most of these injuries happen when a jet ski hits an object causing the rider to be thrown into the object or another vessel.

If someone you love has been involved in a jet ski accident, you and your family may be entitled to recover money for:

  • Wrongful Death
  • Pain and suffering
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Medical bills

With the assistance of our Tampa Bay Watercraft Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton, we can help you recover maximum compensation for your losses. If your loved one was lost in a jet ski accident, no amount of money will be able to  restore your family, but it can help cover economic losses to provide for your family now and in the future.

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Can you believe that Labor Day weekend is next week? Sadly, that means that summer is coming to an end. If you are like most Americans, you will have a three-day weekend to celebrate all your hard work this year. While you may be planning a trip to the beach or hanging back to relax at the pool with friends and family, just know that with all gatherings, the risk for injuries increases over holiday weekends.

If you are injured or someone you love is killed in a boating or swimming pool accident, you should discuss your legal options with our Tampa Bay Watercraft & Boating Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton as soon as possible following the accident.

We know that many Floridians favorite pastime over Labor weekend is to head out and enjoy the water on one of the last summer weekends. The waterways and public pools can be crowded this LDW, and crowds can increase the hazards, including drowning or near-drowning accidents.

If you are heading out with friends and family to spend the weekend on beaches, lakes and rivers, put safety first. Boats, jet skis, tubes, and other water sports equipment are fun, but they can be dangerous. Most people tend to listen to music and drink when on the water, which can cause everyone to get distracted and ignore safety measures. Another thing to remember is that drunk, distracted, or inexperienced boat drivers can often be involved in boat crashes that can injure passengers.

Keep in mind, anytime water is involved, there is always the risk of serious drowning incidents or other catastrophic injuries.

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