But Boating Safety Should Be a Priority All Summer //
Memorial Day was an unusually safe holiday in Florida waters, according to an article by the Miami Herald. Despite an influx of tourists, there were no major boat accidents, and people were generally well-behaved.
All across Florida, police were patrolling major waterways and “looking for safety violations, hazards, impaired boaters, anything that could get people hurt or killed.” Fortunately, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) only reported a few boating accidents with no serious injuries. This is notable because deadly boat crashes have been on the rise. In 2020, there were 113 incidents and 79 fatalities in Florida waterways. Many of these incidents involved alcohol, so it is especially unexpected that Memorial Day, a major drinking holiday, presented what an FWC spokesman called “a very safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.”
Florida residents say the sandbar off Windley Key was a little crazy, but boats were anchored, and partiers did not appear to be boating under the influence. Locals and visitors alike enjoyed a fun weekend of boating, swimming, fishing, riding personal watercraft, and generally having a good time.
The biggest problems FWC reported were fisheries violations, including improper lobster harvesting and illegal queen conch harvesting – and a couple of failed migration attempts from Cuba.
Navigating the Bay or Ocean Is No Different Than Driving on a Highway
Whenever you operate a boat, treat the experience with the same responsibility you associate with driving a car or truck. Never operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and wear your life jacket the same way you would wear a seatbelt. You should also obey boating laws the same way you obey the rules of the road.
Avoid speeding, be mindful of traffic, and use lanes the way they are intended.
Remember that FWC officers can pull you over – just like highway patrol officers can pull you over on the road.
Although driving is much more common than boating, and people usually operate a boat for recreational purposes, boating accidents are as dangerous as car accidents.
When one boater is careless, other people enjoying the waterway can get hurt or killed.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, you also have legal rights. Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC can help you understand those rights and advise you as you deal with the aftermath of a boat accident.
We are available 24/7 to take your call, and we have more than 70 years of combined legal experience.
Whether you need help after a car accident or a boat crash, please do not hesitate to call us at (866) 675-4427 or send us a message online – and don’t forget to schedule a free, confidential consultation.