Boating safety is a multi-faceted process. Though putting on a life vest goes a long way towards decreasing the risk of accidental drowning, there is a lot more to being safe on a lake or ocean than just flotation devices. This is particularly true of smaller boats, where there are no guardrails or other barriers to keep you from falling overboard.
A Florida man died on December 22nd, 2017, when he stood while on a boat and his head struck a bridge. The incident occurred when he and his friends were out on a local lake. A full investigation is taking place regarding whether he was properly orientated to boating safety, but even basic training often does not cover situations such as how to handle bridges and other low clearances.
Inexperience is commonly linked with boating accidents, along with alcohol use. The more time a person has on the water, the more they learn regarding when it is safe to sit and when you can stand. Standing at the wrong time can cause a variety of issues, both with bridges and booms and sails but also with risking capsizing the boat in choppy waters. Anything that shifts weight, particularly in a smaller vessel, runs the risk of compromising the balance of the ship.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident, determining whether or not proper safety protocols were established and followed is important. Whenever someone allows someone on their watercraft, they must teach the person how to be safe and how to minimize the risk of an accident occurring. They must also ensure that lifejackets and other safety equipment are properly used. Please contact an experienced attorney to help you ask the right questions to get the answers to which you are entitled.