Two people were left dead and three more seriously injured after a boating accident on the Piscataqua River on May 5th, 2018. The boat struck a buoy at high speed, launching one passenger into the water and causing significant injuries to the other passengers and the driver. One of the dead was a 7-year-old girl, and her 5-year-old brother was also hospitalized following the crash.
When considering boating accidents, the primary fear for many people is drowning, which a life preserver can mostly prevent. In this case, the woman who was expelled from the craft was wearing a life vest and survived. But a boat crash at high speed can cause many of the same traumatic injuries as a car crash.
Boats come equipped with seatbelts for just this reason, but many boat drivers do not require passengers to wear them. People will ride at the front of the boat to feel the spray of the water on their faces, even when the boat is traveling in excess of 30 miles per hour. When an accident occurs at those speeds, safety protocols become even more important.
Requiring all passengers to follow basic boating safety rules should be the priority of every owner and operator of watercraft. Failing to do so indicates a lack of care regarding the safety of passengers. There is plenty of time when the boat is not moving for passengers to remove safety belts.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident, determining whether or not proper safety protocols were in place is important. Too many boaters and businesses cut corners on safety, resulting in injuries and deaths. Please, consult with a qualified lawyer regarding your case.