The Different Types of Boating Accidents | What to Do Immediately after a Boating Accident
Spring is here and summer’s not too far away. That means it’s time to get your boat on the water. It’s great fun for everyone, as long as you take the right steps to keep everyone safe. Knowing the common types of boating accidents can help you minimize the likelihood of injury. It’s also important to know exactly what you need to do if you or someone you love is involved in a boating accident.
What Are the Common Types of Recreational Boating Accidents?
Statistics indicate that the most frequent types of accidents involving recreational watercraft include:
- Collisions with other boats or with objects in the water, such as docks, buoys, submerged rocks, reefs or other hazards
- Collisions with swimmers, skiers, surfers or others in the water
- Overturning a boat because of excessive speed or sharp turns
- Capsizing, swamping, sinking a boat or running aground
- Passengers falling overboard
- Operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Collisions with other boats, or with persons or objects in the water typically result from operator inexperience, failure to provide a proper lookout, inattention, drug/alcohol use or excessive speed.
What Should You Do in the Immediate Aftermath of a Boating Accident?
Your first course of action, after any type of accident, should be to determine the nature and extent of any injuries sustained. If someone is injured and still in the water, do what you can to get them to safety without risking your own well-being. If you can’t get them into the boat, get them a flotation device or use a rope or buoy to keep them above the water. If you are on a highly trafficked section of a waterway, move to a safer location. Otherwise, remain on the scene and immediately call 911. They’ll contact Coast Guard or other officials to send help. If you don’t have cellphone coverage, but have a VHF marine radio, you can signal for help on Channel 16.
If you are able to get everyone safely in the boat, return to land immediately and go seek medical attention, even if it’s with your primary care physician. Some of the injuries may not be immediately apparent. The sooner you seek medical attention, the more options you’ll have for full recovery and the less risk that your injuries may be attributed to some intervening event.
In many states, including Texas, you are required by law to take certain steps after a boating accident. Under Texas law, you must:
- Bring your boat to a complete stop as soon as safely possible and provide aid and assistance to anyone who has suffered an injury, provided doing so will not put your safety in jeopardy
- File an accident report with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department or with a local police department within 30 days of the mishap, if the accident involved more than $2,000 in personal injury or property damage
- Provide detailed contact information to all other parties involved in the accident, including name, home address and vessel ID number (failure to do so may be considered either a misdemeanor or felony, base on the severity of the injuries and the nature of any wrongful act)
Contact the Experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Injury Lawyers at Bailey & Galyen
At the law office of Bailey & Galyen, we offer a free initial consultation to every client, including anyone who has been hurt in a motor vehicle collision. For an appointment with a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury lawyer, contact us by e-mail or call our offices at 844-402-2992. We will take your call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.