NewsPersonal InjuryTop 11 Causes of Boating Accidents: What to Do If You’re Injured

July 19, 20220

Summer is a time for fun in the sun, and for many people that means spending time on the water. Whether you’re fishing, swimming, or just taking a leisurely cruise, boating can be a lot of fun. But it’s important to remember that accidents can happen on the water too, and if you’re injured in a boating accident you may need to seek legal help. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top 11 causes of boating accidents, as reported by the United States Coast Guard, and what to do if you’re injured in one.

The United States Coast Guard shared the top 11 causes of boating accidents as the following:

Running out of gas

While we think of this as comedic, running out of gas in a moving body of water can be dire.  The Gulf Stream or a waterfall aren’t forgiving to a boater with no gas.

Running aground

Grounding a boat can cause damage to the hull of the boat which can, in turn, result in sinking.  While embarrassing, it’s better to have a grounded boat than a sinking one.

Falling overboard

It’s almost impossible for a solo boater to retrieve a boat once they’ve fallen in the water.  Falling overboard can also lead to being knocked out.  In this case, a properly worn life jacket could be your only hope for rescue.


A small hole or crack can lead to big problems!  Sinking is more common that you may think!

Catching fire

Before taking off for your day on the water, look for obvious fuel spills or leaks, or a rainbow-hued slick on bilge water. Make sure you have fire extinguishers aboard!

Breaking down

This can cause an array of issues such similar to running out of fuel.  In addition, if you break down at night, you can’t be seen by other boats who are likely traveling quickly to get off of the water too.

Speeding at night

At night, it’s hard to see your way as well as other boaters. 

Lacking proper safety gear

The U.S. Coast Guard says about half of drowning fatalities involve boaters without life jackets.  Working flares, lights, horns, a paddle and an anchor are all important tools to maintain safety in a breakdown or storm situation.

Ignoring weather

Storms can pop up quickly in the summer months and can cause damage quickly.  Use your smart phone to stay abreast of weather!

Failing to keep a lookout

Keep a lookout for other boats, always.  If you see them coming, most accidents can be avoided.

Staying sober

Alcohol slows judgement and reflexes.  DUI – driving under the influence is illegal on boats too!  Save a life, don’t drink and drive!

Even if you follow all of the boater’s safety tips, accidents can still happen on the water.  Personal injuries from boating accidents can be severe! If you are in a boating accident in Georgia, it is important to take these steps quickly:

  • Stop the vessel
  • Survey the scene for injured parties
  • Call 911
  • Call Latin Law at 678-890-5868
  • Report the accident to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources

If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident you may need to seek legal help.  At Latin Law, we represent people who have been injured in boating accidents. Our experienced personal injury attorneys in Atlanta, Georgia can help you get the compensation you need to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.  Call us today for a FREE case consultation at 678-890-5868.

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