The five types of recreational vessels with the highest number of casualties in 2014, as per the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2014 recreational boating statistics, include:

  1. Open motorboats, with 1672 casualties (282 deaths and 1390 injuries)
  2. Personal watercraft, with 1626 casualties (34 deaths and 5920 injuries)
  3. Cabin motorboat, with 294 casualties (39 deaths and 255 injuries)
  4. Canoe/Kayak, with 256 casualties (133 deaths and 123 injuries)
  5.  Pontoon, with 114 casualties (17 deaths and 97 injuries)

Recreational boating remains to be a very popular leisure activity in the U.S. In 2012, 87.8 million American adults participated in recreational boating at least once; in 2013, the number jumped to 88 million.

With too much fun, however, some people just tend to forget about acting carefully and responsibly; this are what make exciting activities risky occasions. Worse, to make water adventure more fun, many bring not only food but intoxicating drinks (and sometimes illegal drugs) too. The bad news is, just like drinking and driving do not make a good combination, so too do drinking and boating. As reiterated by the U.S. Coast Guard, drinking alcohol while at sea can affect boat operators’ and passengers’ vision, judgment, balance and coordination faster than when it is consumed on land. This is due to the overall marine environment, which includes the sun, sea water mist or spray, wind, engine noise, vibration and motion. Thus, due to alcohol, accidents, like capsizing boats and drunken passengers falling overboard and drowning have become very common. The USCG further says that alcohol is the leading contributory factor in fatal boating accidents, as well as the leading factor in deaths in the water.

Failure to wear a life jacket, besides alcohol impairment, is another major contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. This is the same regardless of the type of vessel one is operating or riding before falling into the water – yacht, motorboat, jet ski, pontoon, canoe or kayak. And as the boating season nears, the USCG reminds all boaters to boat responsibly – part of which is wearing a life jacket and avoiding consumption of any impairing substance.

Any person who operates any type of vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident that injures another person gives this injured victim the legal right and reason to pursue a legal action against him/her. In connection to drinking and boating, thousands of people have, indeed, been injured, resulting to thousands of boat operators finding themselves in court as defendants.

According to Roseville personal injury lawyers, “It is important that you understand what your legal rights are, and determine whether you may be eligible for compensation, as a result of your injuries due the negligence or illegal action of someone else.

Through a personal injury claim, you may be able to obtain compensation for economic, as well as non-economic, damages. These damages include covering expenses for past and future medical care, physical therapy, and even lost wages from time taken from work for your recovery. Damages can also include compensation for pain and suffering, and emotional distress.”

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