According to news reports, the lawsuit (filed in New Hampshire by the 27-year-old) alleges he was spending time with his girlfriend at her father’s lake house, where father/ defendant owned a boat. The group took the boat out to a sandbar, where the plan was to anchor. Plaintiff, inexperienced in boating, was helping defendant drop the anchor, at defendant’s request. Defendant, a regular boater, did not inform plaintiff of proper boating procedures, particularly for sandbars, and plaintiff dove into the water to help with the anchor. The problem was the water was only 3 feet deep. Plaintiff’s injuries were catastrophic. He now alleges defendant violated boating regulations by standing on the gunnel while the boat was in motion, and also in directing him to jump in when the water was so shallow. Plaintiff’s attorney said the dangers of this were not obvious to an inexperienced boater.
Florida is no stranger to cases like these, considering we lead the nation in total number of registered vessels – 932,000 in 2016, according to the latest figures from the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). There were a total of 714 reportable boating accidents in the Sunshine State last year. Of those, one quarter involved a collision with another vehicle. A third of the fatal accidents involved falls overboard, and overboard boating is the No. 1 cause of fatalities in Florida boating. Continue reading →