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The basics of boating accidents in New York

Boat accidents can happen during any adventurous outing, and can be brought on by nature's unpredictable elements or even a slip of judgment. Whether it is the mesmerizing views, fresh Atlantic Ocean air or simply a machinery malfunction, a boating accident can turn a joyous day into a disastrous one. 

According to the Coast Guard, there are some common contributing factors to most boating accidents. One such contributor is alcohol use; 2016 Coast Guard statistics show that alcohol consumption was the leading factor in fatal accidents on the water. Other factors that often cause boating accidents include:

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

To better protect boaters across the nation, the Coast Guard plans to improve boating education and training, update and enforce policies and improve the collecting of data on accidents.

What to do after an accident

Although some accidents happen in the blink of an eye, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation urges citizens to report incidents promptly and accurately.

Even with small bumps and scratches, New York law requires operators to exchange information with all other parties involved. In cases where the location of the other party is unclear, the situation may call for law enforcement. There are varying details surrounding each type of accident, and boaters of all experience levels should be aware of the costs if they refuse to cooperate with state regulations. 

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