Boating is a fun pastime for many. With bodies of water in great supply in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, recreational boating enthusiasts enjoy motorboats during the summer season. However, sometimes things don’t go as planned resulting in an accident. If you were injured in a RI Motorboat accident contact a RI boat accident lawyer at Slepkow Slepkow & Associates, Inc.
Rhode Island Motorboat Accident
Although the U.S. Coast Guard reports a 6.1% decrease in boating fatalities between 2016 and 2017, the number is still too high and many were preventable. If you were injured in a boat accident in RI contact a boat accident attorney RI. A Rhode Island boat accident lawyer will also be a RI personal injury attorney. The 2017 report listed the top five boating accidents.
- Collision with Another Recreational Vessel
- Collision with a Fixed Object
- Flooding or Swamping
- Falls Overboard
Collision with Another Recreational Vessel
Navigating the water and watching for oncoming boaters is instrumental in avoiding a collision. However, sometimes the operator is blindsided by another vessel resulting in an impact. Some are minor while others cause injury or death. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 1,145 collisions with recreational vessels in 2017 with 721 injuries and 49 deaths. Within the category of collision, there are endless variables as to which type. Accidents involving one boat going over another or hitting dead center are both examples of collisions. In river recreational areas, for example, the natural bend and flow of the river can resemble a dog-leg leaving the drivers blinded to the reverse traffic flow.
Collision with a Fixed Object
Knowing the body of water and having an awareness of the season changes can elevate some instances of fixed object collisions. Lakes, rivers, and other water areas have an ebb and flow with the seasonal water levels. The U.S. Coast Guard reported 470 of these accidents in 2017 with 327 injuries and 63 deaths. Natural items can be hidden in the depths of the water; trees, rocks, and possibly large trash like a car might be covered with water to a varying degree. This isn’t usually a problem when the water is so high that these fixed objects are well below the surface, or even really low water when they are sticking out so far they are easily seen. Fixed items are not just natural formations, however, they can also be docks or something manmade. If you were injured in a RI boating accident, contact a Rhode Island boat accident lawyer.
Flooding or Swamping
When the boat fills with water, it is at risk of swamping. Flooding the vessel can be a result of bad weather, a leak, a large wave, or several other factors. Sudden stops in moving water can be followed by a wall of water momentum. This wall of water can also be sent by a passing boat with a large wake. The boat is overcome by the water filling beyond what it can hold. If the water can’t be drained, the boat will sink. Four hundred thirty-five swamping accident were reported by the U.S. Coast Guard resulting in 132 injuries and 76 deaths. In fact, this is a common fishing accident, and it also happens when boats are anchored at the stern.
Running the boat on shore or hitting a sandbar in the river are two examples of grounding. There are a number of reasons this might occur such as poor visibility, but some of the most common contributing factors are operator inexperience and alcohol. Seventeen people died in 2017 and 224 were injured in the 368 grounding accidents according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Stopping abruptly from the smooth glide of water movement can cause serious head and neck injuries. In lakes, grounding incidents might happen close to shore, but in rivers, it is a consistent, daily changing risk throughout the flow of the water. There are two types of grounding: Soft and hard. A soft grounding usually doesn’t cause damage or injury; whereas, a hard grounding will probably require assistance and can cause injury or death.
Passengers can fall out of a boat when it is stationary or moving. When stationary, it is usually the result of unstable footing or doing something unsafe that causes the individual to lose balance. Traveling in a high-speed boat, however, a sharp or sudden turn can throw someone from their seat. This is why the U.S. Coast Guard would argue that life jackets should be worn rather than stowed. Assuming that the fall does not cause injury or death, the drowning is more likely to occur without a life vest. This is especially apparent in the U.S. Coast Guard report showing 179 deaths from 306 accidents. Although fifth on the list, the number of deaths outnumber the proceeding four; thus, the secondary issue of drowning is a great factor.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one as a result of a boating accident, you will want to consult our personal injury attorney office. We will file the claim, work with the insurance company, and fight for your best interest. Don’t delay; call today. A Rhode Island personal injury attorney or a RI boat accident lawyer will help you get the compensation you are entitled to.