Summer time in South Carolina is a great time to take advantage of all of the water-related activities we have access to here in the Upstate. Whether it be swimming, fishing, or boating, there is never a shortage of water-related things to do. Unfortunately, with the surge of water craft and boating activity, comes the surge of accidents involving boating and recreational water craft, such as personal water craft and jet skis. Boating accidents occur every summer. In fact, in 2016, South Carolina had 136 boating accidents resulting in 23 fatalities. This number was an increase from 123 accidents and 17 deaths in 2015.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics Report, here is a list of:
Five reasons as to why boating accidents occur:
- Alcohol Use – Almost half of all fatal accidents involve alcohol. Most occur at the end of the day when environment, and drinking can induce bad judgement. Not only is it dangerous, but operating a boat while intoxicated is a federal offense and subject to a $1,000 fine. In addition, criminal penalties are as high as $5,000, and may even include jail time. State Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws are becoming more stringent too. In most states, the standards for determining whether an individual is intoxicated matches its state highway laws for operating a vehicle.
- Hazardous Waters – Rip currents, severe storms and sudden changes in the current can create a hazardous situation especially for inexperienced boat operators.
- Operator Inexperience – Excessive speed, carelessness, recklessness caused by an inexperienced boat operator can contribute to accidents.
- Operator Inattention – This continues to be the most common cause of non-fatal boating accidents. While the rest of your guests on board are having fun you may not want to miss out. It is important, however, to always be paying attention and having a hold on the wheel.
In conclusion, while you are out enjoying the warm southern weather and the amenities of South Carolina, please be responsible. Avoid the above situations and stay safe!
If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may need legal help. We are here for you. Our law firm stands ready to provide legal assistance and representation in these complex cases. Give us a call at 864-235-4999 to tell us about your case or complete our online form and we will get back in touch with you. Stay safe and be aware of the dangers on the water this summer. Have a great summer!