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Knowing the Risks Can Help Prevent Florida Boating Injuries

Boating is a way of life for many people in Florida. Floridians enjoy fishing, skiing, tubing and many other activities on lakes and in the ocean. But, a recent accident that critically injured an 11-year-old girl should remind us all of the danger and injuries that can occur even while enjoying our favorite recreational water activities. The young girl was struck by a boat propeller struckwhile she was tubing on Lake Taray in North Tampa.

To reduce accidents, injuries and deaths while boating and participating in other activities in the water, Miami boat accident lawyers suggest following a few helpful tips. Before swimming or boating, know the area weather conditions and forecast. High winds and lightning are especially dangerous. Always use U.S. Coast Guard-approved life vests regardless of the experience level of the boaters and swimmers. Finally, understand the meaning and heed all Coast Guard-posted buoys and flags.

According the United States Coast Guard, in 2010 there were 4,604 boating accidents, resulting in 3,153 injuries and 672 deaths. Of those that died, three-fourths drowned and 88 percent were not wearing a life vest. The top five contributing factors in boating accidents are:

  • Operator carelessness
  • Alcohol
  • An imprudent lookout
  • Exaggerated speed
  • Operator inexperience

Children are at a greater risk of sustaining recreational injuries because they are less likely to understand the risks and they have slower reaction times and less coordination. Every year, thousands of children under the age of 14 are treated for injuries sustained while water skiing, tubing and surfing. To help prevent injury and death, children should be supervised at all times, wear appropriate safety gear and life vests, and pay close attention to all safety rules and regulations while enjoying recreational water activities.

Water recreation is a fun and enjoyable pastime for thousands of Floridians. Knowing the risks associated with each type of activity, while incorporating safe and responsible behaviors, can make it healthy and safe as well.

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