14 people were ejected from their boat in a Labor Day boat crash, reports the Miami Herald. According to the official report, “[The driver] had just departed Elliott Key…when the boat ran into the green Intracoastal Waterway Marker 15, which is the last marker in a small channel called Cutter Bank…[T]he passengers told them a larger vessel may have been headed right toward Pino’s vessel before it hit the channel marker. That boat left the area after the crash, according to sources.” One passenger died from her injuries.
Boating safety and negligence
Like land-based vehicles, boaters have a duty to avoid harming others when they’re operating a vessel. That includes not taking any unnecessary risks, such as boating under the influence, steering the boat too closely toward other vessels, failing to watch for swimmers, water skiers and jet skiers. If an operator fails to meet their duty of care, they may be held liable for any injuries which result.
Florida doesn’t grant boating licenses, but the state does require anyone born after January 1, 1988 to complete a boating safety course. If they plan to operate a boat with ten or more horsepower, they must have a boating education ID card and photo ID. Visitors can complete a safety course and receive a temporary boating safety certificate, which is valid for 90 days. Nonresidents can also show proof of completing a boating safety course which meets or exceeds Florida’s requirements.
As the tragic Florida Keys accident reminds us, boating is a fun activity which comes with serious risk of harm. Be sure to take all necessary safety precautions, and stay alert when you’re on the water.
Boating accidents can cause serious injury or death. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, the trusted accident attorneys at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh in Bradenton, FL are standing by. Reach out today for a consultation.