When you hear about a boating accident on the news, it often involves a large cruise ship that came under distress due to hazardous conditions such as poor weather. Large ships sailing out in the middle of the ocean aren’t the type of water vessel that’s most vulnerable to having an accident though. Small, open boats that congregate in inland waters are at the highest risk for becoming involved in catastrophic incidents instead.
The boating education provider Kalkomy contends that at least half of all boating fatalities that occur in the here in New York and elsewhere in the United States are caused by two events. Deaths often result when a boat capsizes (turns over) or swamps (fills with water). Fatalities also frequently occur when passengers fall overboard.
Kalkomy’s same data shows that most of these fatal incidents happen when the weather, winds and water are relatively calm. These conditions are most common during the daytime.
Captains can greatly minimize their risk of a catastrophic boating accident by making sure that they affix their ignition safety switch to a life jacket or their clothes or by tying it around their wrist.
It’s also important that captains carefully balance the weight of passengers with their cargo as an overloaded boat can either capsize or become swamped. This is especially the case if people start moving around the water vessel.
Captains should avoid operating their boats in overcrowded bodies of water or when there are choppy seas. It’s good practice if the individual navigating the water vessel slows it down before attempting to navigate a turn. Passengers may be ejected from the boat if they don’t.
It’s also important that boat operators discourage their passengers from sitting on the motor, seatbacks, the gunwale or any other parts of the boat that are not intended for seating. This can protect passengers and crew from unnecessarily getting hurt.
Many dangers exist when you take to the high seas. While a life jacket can prevent you from getting hurt in some instances, it can’t protect you from all the dangers that lurk out there. An attorney can advise you of potential legal avenues that you may want to pursue if you’ve been hurt in an incident on a water vessel here in Manhattan or elsewhere in New York.