With the Fourth of July weekend upon us, the U.S. Coast Guard is heightening its efforts to educate the public about wearing lifejackets while boating. In Lake County, California, the Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 88 has been passing out free lifejackets to Lake County youth and providing boat safety classes at elementary schools.
Such measures are necessary. According to the National Safe Boating Council (NSBC), California has the third highest incidence of boating deaths in the country, and is second for reported accidents. In 2008, 45 deaths and 520 injuries were reported.
California law requires children under the age 13 to wear a life jacket, and a jacket must be on board for each passenger.
The Lake County Bee reports the most common reasons for accidents include:
• Careless/reckless operation
• Operator inattention
• Operator inexperience
• Passenger/skier behavior
In fatal accidents, alcohol use is common.
Spending a day boating can bring hours of fun and entertainment. However, as a California personal injury attorney, I’ve seen too many accidents as the result of boaters losing sight of basic safety precautions. For this Fourth of July, remember to bring a life jacket and use care while driving your boat.
For more information on boating safety, or if you or a loved one is injured in a boating accident, contact the Law Office of Frederick J. Sette, a California attorney dedicated to helping the injured.