Being in a boat on the Mississippi River is a great way to spend the day. The level of recreational boating on rivers is growing. It has resulted in an increase in numbers of boating accidents. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, each year in the United States there are more than 4,000 accidents involving boats. This results in over 600 deaths and more than 2,500 injuries. The property damage caused by recreational boating accidents exceeds $49 million annually.
There are some accidents that are common when boating. People often unknowingly run into a stationary object including a rock or even a pier. Boats may capsize for many different reasons. Passengers often fall overboard. It’s possible for a boat to experience flooding that will result in the boat sinking. Two vessels on a river could accidentally collide and more.
New boaters are credited with the significant increase in the sale of boats. It takes time to learn how to properly operate a boat. Too often an inexperienced boater learns too late they haven’t taken the time necessary to learn important boating skills. This has caused some serious accidents with the new boater, passengers as well as with other boats. Certifications and boat safety classes can cut down on the risks associated with new boaters.
Some individuals have caused accidents by operating their boat in a reckless manner as well as speeding or operating it while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It’s possible for a boat operator to intentionally take risks with the boat and its passengers. Some individuals have operated a boat without proper licensing and more. This is considered negligent behavior.
There are certain things people can do to avoid accidents when in a boat on the Mississippi.
*Check Weather – People may go out when the weather is nice and not think to check for any possible storms arriving later. Weather on the Mississippi can change quickly. Dark clouds can appear with drops in temperature and changing winds. Being aware of current and future weather conditions while boating is important.
*Life Jackets – The majority of individuals who drown in a boating accident are not wearing a life jacket. Wearing a life jacket significantly decreases the chance of injury while boating.
*Vessel Operation – It is important people know how to properly operate the boat they are using. Being able to safely handle it in different situations can significantly decrease the chances of an accident.
*Safety Check – It’s important people know how to make certain that everything is in proper operating condition. If someone isn’t sure they know how to do this, the U.S. Coast Guard will conduct a free check of a person’s boat to make certain it is safe to operate.
Boating on the Mississippi River can be a great time. Unfortunately, some boat operators will not follow safety regulations. It often results in an accident. When this happens, it is important victims of a boating accident realize they have rights. Their property damage, as well as any medical bills and more, should be compensated. Speaking with an attorney after a boating accident can help accident victims protect their rights and get them the compensation they are entitled to receive.
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