The Panama City area is a great place for boating. Whether it is a trip to go fishing, a day doing water sports, or just a relaxing ride, many locals and visitors alike take to the water to enjoy the ocean. With the ocean being so close, and the weather being so perfect, it makes sense that so many area residents enjoy heading out on the water. But sometimes a relaxing, enjoyable day on the boat can take a turn for the worst. And boating accidents can have lasting consequences.
Before you think a boating accident can’t or won’t happen to you, take some time to consider the statistics. Also, it is important that frequent and infrequent boaters understand the responsibilities of boaters and who is responsible when boating accidents go badly. While it isn’t a fun conversation to have, unfortunately it is a necessary one when it comes to boating accidents.
Study Shows Serious Boating Accident Problem in Florida
A recent study released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reveals just how serious boating accidents can be in Florida. The cover photo and story from the study depict an accident from August of 2014, where a father and son were out on a boating trip. The father was distracted after asking his son to get a plastic bag that nearly blew out of the boat. Just then, while the father was distracted, the boat went of course and ran aground into the shoreline. Both the father and son were injured, with the son suffering a fractured skull.
This story illustrates what dangers are involved in boating. And the numbers involved in boating accidents further illustrate the point. Since 2013, there have been more boating accidents in Florida than any other state. Below is a breakdown of the top ten states in boat accidents in 2013:
Ohio - 108
Maryland - 110
Missouri - 111
Tennessee - 119
New Jersey - 123
North Carolina - 139
Texas - 146
New York - 180
California - 426
Florida - 685
You can see how many more boating accidents took place in Florida vs. any other state. And it makes sense. There is more water access in Florida than any other state, but that means that boaters in Florida need to be that much more aware of the dangers. Consider, also, that as of 2014 there are nearly 900,000 registered boats in and around Florida waters.
Breaking the Injury Data Down
When it comes to boating accidents, anyone can be a victim. According to another section of the study swimmers, operators, and passengers were all injured in boating accidents in 2014. of the 685 accidents, 7 swimmers were hurt, 131 operators were injured, and passengers had the most with 227. And the seriousness of the accidents run from very serious to mild. Some injured due to boating accidents simply suffered cuts, while others needed amputation, suffered broken bones, and still others had serious internal injuries.
So the evidence is in, and it concludes that boating can pose a significant risk to everyone involved. This isn’t to say that people should not go boating. But if you or a loved one is injured in a boating accident in the Panama City area, contact us so we can evaluate your case. At The Pittman Firm we dedicate our practice to representing the victims of personal injuries.