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Recreational Boating Accident Injuries Drop, Reports Coast Guard

Boating accident maineLast year saw 32 recreational boating accidents in Maine, and eight fatalities, reports The U.S. Coast Guard. According to its 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics, national boating accident related injuries are significantly lower than recent years, with 2,613 injuries in 2015. Boating deaths spiked just 2.6 percent from 2014, with 626 deaths last year.

While this figure is the third-lowest number on record, recreational boaters incurred momentous property damage this past year. Boaters were liable for a staggering $42 million in property damage in 2015, and $388,400 of this occurred right here in Maine.

Boating fatalities increase in 2015

Among the 626 victims of fatal boating accidents last year, 22 of the victims were children under the age of 13. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that more than half of these young victims died from drowning, and only two of them wore a life jacket at the time of the accident.

The Coast Guard reminds all recreational boaters to act responsibly while on the water, and to refresh their skills with a boat safety course. While on the water, boaters should always wear life jackets, avoid alcohol consumption, and outfit their engines with a cut-off switch.

Alcohol & operator inattention leading causes of boating accidents

Boating remains a popular pastime for Mainers, especially during the warmer spring and summer months. This past year, some 107,475 motorboats were registered in the state, which is nearly 1,000 more watercraft than 2014.

Boating accidents in Maine during 2015 resulted in 22 injuries and 8 deaths. It comes as no surprise that alcohol consumption was a leading factor in fatal boating accidents in Maine and across the country.

Other contributing factors to boating accidents in Maine include:

  • Operator inexperience
  • Operator inattention
  • Machinery malfunction
  • Excessive speed
  • Improper lookout

According to the 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics report, in cases where the cause of death was known, three-quarters of boating accident victims had drowned. An estimated 85 percent of those who had drowned were not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.

Further investigations showed that 71 percent of boating accident deaths occurred on watercraft where the operator had not received boat safety training.

Injured on the water? Hardy, Wolf & Downing can help

The law firm of Hardy, Wolf & Downing has more than 30 years of experience pursuing injury claims on behalf of residents who’ve been harmed on New England’s waterways.  Many of our clients have suffered broken bones, head trauma, lacerations, burns and other debilitating harm at the expense of a reckless or intoxicated boater who did not operate their vessel in a safe or legal manner. Our boating accident attorneys have handled claims involving:

  • Personal watercraft
  • Cabin motorboats
  • Jet skis
  • Open motorboats
  • Fishing boats
  • Other types of vessels

Protect your legal rights in the wake of a boating accident; partner with a trusted Maine personal injury law firm that is results-oriented and puts clients first. A successful lawsuit can net damages for medical bills, pain and suffering, property damage, lost wages and other kinds of losses. For a free case evaluation, please call our office at 1-800-INJURED.

  1. EllsWorthAmerican, Coast Guard: 2015 was a safe but expensive year for boaters http://www.ellsworthamerican.com/maine-news/waterfront/coast-guard-2015-safe-expensive-year-boaters
  2. U.S. Department of Transportation, Maine Recreational Boating Accidents Involving Alcohol, http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/state_transportation_statistics/maine/html/figure_02_06.html