Maritime Personal Injuries and Boating Accidents

According to the 2008 Florida Boating Accident Statistical Report, Florida has the highest number of registered boating vessels in the United States. Florida also has the highest number of boating accidents with a total of 657 reported accidents in 2008 and Monroe County reporting the highest number of incidents.

Click on the video below and David Avellar Neblett will provide some insight regarding boating accidents and what to do if you are involved in one.

In the state of Florida during 2008, boaters falling overboard were the main cause of boating fatalities. The numbers continue to grow every year.

Boating education is critical as evidenced in this 2008 Boating Accidents Statistical Report, there were 657 reportable boating accidents and 54 boating related fatalities. Many of these deaths were due to victims falling overboard or capsizing their boat and drowning. A large number of these deaths could have been prevented if the victims had worn life jackets. We continue to increase our efforts to reduce the number of boating-related fatalities through enhanced enforcement and education about the importance of wearing life jackets on the water these statistics reflect data from “reportable boating accidents” that occurred in our state.

Boating accidents must involve at least one of the following incidents for it to be classified as “reportable”: A person dies, a person disappears under circumstances that indicate possible death or injury, a person receives an injury requiring medical treatment beyond immediate first aid, or, there is at least $2,000 aggregate property damage to the vessel(s) or other property. The number of recreational vessels registered in the State of Florida fell slightly in 2008. With 1,010,359 registered vessels, Florida leads the nation in registered vessels. Additionally, it is estimated that up to 1 million non-registered boats actively use Florida’s waters, and this segment of the boating population has been growing rapidly. Our waterways increasingly show the strains of congestion as each year brings more residents and visitors to utilize our abundant water resources and enjoy Florida boating lifestyle.

If you have an accident on the water, or you are a seamen that has been injured or is sick then you need the team at Perry Neblett P.A.

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Boating Accident Review

Total number of registered vessels in Florida continues to lead the nation with 1,010,359 registered in 2008 (16,684 below 2007 records).

There were 657 total reportable boating accidents in 2008. Property damage totals increased 155% in 2008 primarily due to a fire in Miami-Dade County that resulted in $15,000,000 in damages to three vessels.

2008 Reportable Boating Accidents

72% of the Operators involved in reportable boating accidents had no formal boater education. Monroe County reported the highest number of accidents and injuries (98 total accidents with 7 fatalities and 44 injuries).

2008 Reportable Boating Fatalities

speed10In 2008 boaters falling overboard was the main cause of boating fatalities. This trend, although preventable, continues to grow. 38% of the fatal accidents were falls overboard (19 accidents with 25 victims)

57% of the fatal accidents were in vessels less then 17 feet in length. 18% of the fatal accidents involved non-motorized vessels. The leading cause of death in fatal boating accidents was drowning (70%). 63% of the fatal accidents occurred when the victim involuntarily entered the water and drowned. Deadliest month in 2008 was May with 9 fatalities. March and April followed, with 7 each. 28% of the boating fatalities were caused by alcohol or drug use. 70% of the victims of fatal boating accidents were males (45). The total fatality count for 2008 is reported as 54.

2008 Reportable Boating Injuries

There were 386 reported injuries in 2008 involving 925 vessels and 29 swimmers. The rate of injury was .58 per accident.

2008 Reportable Personal Watercraft Accidents

Personal watercraft (PWC) account for 12.8% of all registered vessels in Florida. PWC were involved in 25% (168) of reported boating accidents. 59% of PWC accidents involved a collision with another vessel. 13% of total boating fatality victims were on a PWC. Over 38% of PWC accidents occurred in Miami-Dade, Monroe and Pinellas Counties, with Pinellas ranked as number #1 (with 27 accidents).

2008 Boating Education Statistics

FWC issued 23,294 Boater Education ID cards in 2008. 53.5% of the cards were issued to persons 21 years of age or younger.

2008 Non-Motorized Vessel Fatalities

20% of all fatal boating accident victims were using a non-motorized vessel. Vessels involved included canoes (2), Kayaks (4), and jon/rowboats (3). 91 % of fatal non-motorized vessel accident victims drowned. Two of the non-motorized vessel fatalities involved rented vessels (canoes).

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