Water sports are popular recreation for families, particularly as we are right smack in the middle of summer. Using personal watercraft offers the thrills of gliding on lakes and placid rivers with the sun baking your face and water splashing on you. It might as fun as a water-related ride at Disneyland or another amusement park, without having to wait in line. However, you can face serious injury and death if you are not careful, and if other water enthusiasts are reckless.
In fact, the dangers are so real that the National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal agency that investigates motorized accidents, issued a report as long ago as 1998. The executive summary of the report stated that the number of fatalities involving personal watercraft had been increasing while the overall number of deaths involving recreational boating had been declining in recent years as of the time of the report.
An accident involving two personal watercrafts killed a 42-year-old man in May 2014, on Joe Pool Lake in Texas. News accounts stated the accident happened after one personal watercraft “’t-boned” the other one. The side of one personal watercraft struck the driver of the other one, fatally injuring him. You do not want yourself and members of your family who use personal watercraft to become part of any statistic with a negative impact. To enhance safety, take the following steps:
- Make sure your personal watercraft is in top operating condition. Various sites offer links to recalls for personal watercraft and other mechanized watercraft.
- Do not operate personal watercraft under the influence of alcohol, drugs or both.
- Make sure you wear a life preserver while operating a personal watercraft.
- Obey all posted safety rules while in the water.
- Stay a safe distance from boats, canoes, kayaks, rafts and other personal watercraft.
Taking the above measures will make gliding on water more enjoyable and safer, but don’t be complacent. Seek immediate medical attention if you or your family members are injured, and report all accidents to the Coast Guard. And if you or your family members are injured through no fault of your own, you may have recourse through a civil suit particularly when you enlist the help you need from a well-know and respected Manhattan law firm who deals with personal injury cases.