Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

Boating in Florida was more dangerous last year, with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reporting the number of boating accidents statewide shot up by 23 percent compared to the prior year.. boating1

Lee County was singled out as one of the most dangerous cites, ranking No. 4 behind Miami-Dade, Monroe and Broward counties for having the most accidents on the water – 48 for the year.

There was one death reported in Lee County as a result of a boating accident last year, and also 20 injuries. Statewide, there were 737 boating accidents – far more than 634 reported in 2014. However, it is worth noting that between 2011 and 2013, the average number of collisions was 727. That is to say that 2014 saw a marked decrease in the number of boating accidents we typically see statewide. We had hoped this would signal a downward trend, but the final 2015 figures show that is not the case.  Continue reading ›

A Florida jet ski accident claimed the life of a Lehigh Acres man in Alva, according to a report by Fort Myers news station NBC-2.

An investigation by the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) revealed the fatal accident was alcohol-related. The report indicated the 53-year-old man was riding on the personal watercraft in the Caloosahatchee River when the vessel struck a dock, ejecting him. Neighbors indicated they heard a commotion and came out to find a number of people working to pull the man out of the water. Despite spending a half hour performing CPR on him, he died. His exact cause of death is ujetskiingnclear, but initial reports appear to indicate blunt force head trauma.

The FWC reports that in 2014, there were 104 personal watercraft accidents in Florida, with 98 resulting in injuries and causing five deaths. There are a total of 111,441 registered personal watercraft vessels in the state last year. Those figures indicate a slight decrease in personal watercraft accidents in the state from the previous year, when there were 108,113 registered vessels, 137 accidents, 125 injuries and eight deaths. Continue reading ›

A boating accident lawsuit stemming from a crash resulting in the amputation of a 9-year-old girl’s thumb is likely to settle for $1 million, according to local news sources from Myrtle Beach.boating

According to, the defendant in the case of Georgino v. Murrells Inlet Epiphany Inc. is the tourism leader of the popular South Carolina city. He also works as the managing partner of a resort management company there. The lawsuit was filed in federal South Carolina District Court.

The accident occurred in late May 2014. According to the girl’s mother, who is the plaintiff on her behalf, the child’s hand was resting on the side of her father’s boat. It was in the process of being moored and rafted alongside a number of other vessels situated in an inlet. The family was attending an event for wounded veterans.

Suddenly, according to the complaint, the wake caused by defendant’s yacht caused the girl’s father’s boat to slam into another vessel. The lawsuit alleges the yacht was being operated at a high rate of speed, very near to boats that were moored and rafted. Continue reading ›

A South Florida boating accident recently claimed the life of one man and injured two others. Investigators are working to piece together what happened. boating

Two boats were moving side-by-side along the Intracoastal Waterway in Fort Lauderdale when one of the operators lost control and smashed into a dock located in the rear of a private residence. The impact of the collision resulted in a 24-year-old man being ejected from the vessel, where he struck his head on the concrete sea wall. He was pronounced dead at the scene, while two others were transported to a local hospital for treatment. They are expected to survive their injuries.

Officials are unsure exactly why the vessels were moving side-by-side or how fast they were traveling. However, there is some indication speed was a factor because the impact of the crash was forceful enough to send a passenger out of the boat. Further, there is some indication more than one person was operating the vessel that crashed in the moments prior to impact. There is also an ongoing inquiry into whether alcohol may have played a role in the crash.

Plaintiff in Hodson v. Taylor was a teenager when he ventured out with a group of friends on a private lake in a pontoon boat owned by one of the friend’s parents.

The group spent some time cruising around the lake and stopped a few times to swim. When they stopped at their final spot, plaintiff dove in. But the water was far too shallow. He struck the bottom and was instantly paralyzed from the chest down.

He now suffers limited movement of his shoulders and hands. Doctors say he will never walk again.
Continue reading ›

Florida boaters enjoy some 8,400 miles of external and internal coastline along the ocean, including the gulf and various lakes and rivers.
While injuries caused by the negligence of boat operators is almost certainly worthy of compensation, those that arise out of the “natural condition” of the landscape generally are not. Additionally, local and state governments are generally protected under sovereign immunity laws.

However, as a recent case out of Utah illustrates, this protection is not absolute. Further, our Naples boat accident lawyers understand the definition of “natural condition” may not be narrowly interpreted by all courts.
Continue reading ›

The impact of a horrific, three-boat crash following a firework display over the Biscayne Bay to celebrate the Fourth of July left four people dead and three suffering critical injuries. A total of eight were transported to the hospital.
Investigators, while still working to piece together the exact details of the chaotic scene, have announced they believe alcohol was a possible contributing cause to the crash.

Our Fort Myers Beach boating accident lawyers understand Florida was the No. 1 state for boating fatalities in 2013, continuing a trend that has been noted over the last decade – second only to California, which has twice the population of Florida.
Continue reading ›

One woman is dead after a tube in a boat flew out and yanked her with it. The line of the tube wrapped around her neck and she was pulled overboard, according to NBC2. Investigators are still looking into the accident to see what led to her death.

The victim was a 23-year-old from Cape Coral. She died as a result of her injuries. Although officials with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) say that they’ve never heard of something like this happening, it is one of many risks present when enjoying a day on the water. Wind can be a problem when boating, regardless of what kind of boat you’re on. That’s something that you need to consider before heading out for an afternoon. Investigators have also reportedly determined alcohol a factor in the accident.

Our Fort Myers Beach boating accident lawyers know Florida is the most dangerous state in the country for these kinds of accidents. Our state continues to lead in the total number of registered boats, with more than 900,000 registered in 2012. During that same year, there were more than 700 boating accidents reported throughout the state.

Most commonly (accounting for more than 40 percent), these fatal accidents were the result of falling overboard. The leading cause of death was drowning, accounting for more than 60 percent of all boating fatalities. The deadliest month on the books was the month of July.

Drug and alcohol use played a role in more than 10 percent of the fatal boating accidents reported throughout the year. There were close to 60 people who died in all boating accidents reported in the state of Florida in 2012. Close to 65 percent of the victims were operators who were over the age of 35. More than 30 percent involved vessels that were less than 23 feet in length.

Aside from the fatalities, there were close to 400 injuries sustained in 2012 boating accidents.

Did you know that more than 70 percent of the operators who were involved in fatal accidents had no formal boater education?

And Lee County is one of the most dangerous counties in the state. We saw close to 30 accidents in 2012, with one fatality and 10 injuries. We were ranked as the 8th most dangerous in the state.

It’s a dangerous time of year to be out on the water. There’s a lot of boating traffic and the accident risks are high. So before you head out, make sure your passengers understand how to stay safe on the water. Enjoy your day in the sun, but enjoy it safely.
Continue reading ›

There are many rules of the water, and they’re all enacted to keep us safe and to keep boat traffic flowing smoothly. Unfortunately, despite those laws, one boater’s afternoon recently turned deadly in Collier County.

According to ABC7, a 61-year-old man was killed after the boat he was riding was slammed into a channel marker in Naples’ waters. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) said it happened in Dollar Bay, just before 8:00 p.m. at channel marker 71. Accident reports indicate that the accident was alcohol-related. Upon impact, the victim and his wife were ejected from the boat and sent 15 feet in the air.


“When our officers investigate the case, they’re going to look at all of the factors that were involved in the accident. And that certainly speed will be one of those,” said Carli Segelson with the FWC.

Our Naples boating accident lawyers understand that Florida has more than 8,000 miles of coastline and 4,500 square miles of inland waterways, making it a paradise for boaters! From mega-yachts to wooden skiffs, having a boat is as normal as having a car for some Floridians. Unfortunately, there are many risks associated with your leisurely days in the sun.

According to the FWC, the Sunshine State has the highest number of boating accidents in the nation, with approximately 25 percent more than the next following state. Collier is ranked ninth statewide for the highest number of annual accidents, most of which occur in open motorboats, cabin motorboats and personal watercraft.

Top 5 Causes of Boating Accidents:

-Operator Inattention
-Improper Lookout
-Operator Inexperience
-Excessive Speed
The operator of a boat that’s involved in an accident where there is personal injury beyond immediate first-aid, death, disappearance of any person under circumstances which indicate death or injury or even if there is damage to the boat (or other boats) and/or there is personal property of at least $2,000, is responsible to give notice to one of the following:

-The FWC
-The sheriff of the county.

-The police chief of the municipality.

Boating Accident Statistics:

-Most of the people who die in boating accidents die from drowning.

-About 80 percent of these victims were not using a life jacket at the time of the accident.

-Close to three-quarters of these victims who drowned were in boats under 21 feet in length.

-Alcohol is a contributing factor in more than 15 percent of fatal boating accidents in the country.

With the summer season, we can expect a lot of Floridians and visitors to hit our waterways — especially on weekends. It only takes one wrong move, one bad decision or one second of inattention for a fatal accident to happen. It’s critical that we keep safety as a number one priority to help make sure that everyone safely enjoys their day under that Florida sun.
Continue reading ›

Each year, the state of Florida sees more boating accidents that any other state in the country. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were nearly 700 boating accidents reported in the Sunshine State in 2011. The runner up was the state of California, which reported about 400 accidents.

With that being said, our Naples boating accident attorneys are asking boaters to be safe out there as accident risks have skyrocketed in the month of March. During this time, we get spring breakers and vacationers from around the country and they’re all headed here for our sandy beaches and boating amenities.

Officials calculate that there have been close to 50 boating accidents in Collier County since 2011. This gave our area the 7th-place rank for the most dangerous county in the state for these kinds of incidents.

Dangerous Counties for Boating Accidents in 2011:

1.) Monroe: Close to 100 accidents reported.

2.) Miami-Dade: 75 accidents reported.

3.) Palm Beach: Close to 60 accidents reported.

4.) Broward: More than 40 accidents reported.

5.) Lee: Close to 50 accidents reported.

There are a number of common causes for boating accidents across the state. Some of the most common are collisions with other vessels, falls overboard, capsizing, colliding with a fixed object and flooding.

You’re asked to be safe out there at all times — even when cruising. As a matter of fact, a large majority of these accidents happen while boaters are just cruising along.

If you’re a local and you own your own boat, don’t think you’re in the clear. Statistics show that 80 percent of the vessels involved in these accidents are actually owned by the operator. Comparatively fewer accidents involve a boat that was rented or borrowed, though those operators could face higher risks.

The truth of the matter is that one of the primary factors contributing to vessel accidents is operator inexperience. And that’s another reason why the proper boating training is so important for everyone.

In addition to making sure your boating skills are on point, you should have your vessel regularly maintained. You can have your boat checked for free by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron volunteer organizations.

More Boating Safety Tips:

-Make sure that all children under 6 are wearing a Coast Guard-approved life jacket while underway in Florida waters, and up to 3 miles from shore.

-Make sure you know how much your boat can hold and never overload it.

-Tell someone when you’re going and when you plan on returning.

-Make sure you’ve got a radio on board and it’s on at all times.

-Check the weather conditions before you head out and periodically while you’re already on the water.

-Always carry emergency supplies with you, including a first-aid kit, extra bottled water, batteries, a flashlight, emergency flares and sunscreen.
Continue reading ›

Contact Information