Boating Accidents In Florida

967 Words4 Pages
Florida is considered the “Fishing Capital of the World,” and Lake Okeechobee, the largest lake in the state is known as one of the best bass fishing spots in the world. Every year, thousands of people jump in their boats for a day of fishing on the lake. However, life is not always sunny in the Sunshine state, as Florida has the highest number of boating accidents in the United States every year. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), there were 685 reported serious boating accidents last year in the state of Florida alone. 51 of those accidents resulted in death. 22 of those deaths occurred because the victim fell overboard, and 12 were caused by the capsizing of the boat. Many of these accidents could…show more content…
The FWC has examined statistics based on the age of boat operators who have been involved in accidents and has determined that the majority of accidents are caused by older boat operators who are not required to take an education course, therefore even though Florida state laws require only those born after January 1, 1988 have a Boating Safety Education ID card in order to operate a boat, the FWC recommends that everyone, regardless of age take a course and obtain a…show more content…
All vessels and canoes and kayaks are required to have aboard a personal flotation device for every person on board or being towed. Children under the age of six, everyone operating a personal watercraft, and everyone on skies must wear their life jackets at all times. Inflatable flotation devices are prohibited. Vessels are also required to have a fire extinguisher on board if they are motorized. Outboard-powered boats less than 26 feet are exempt from this requirement. When traveling on the high seas or on coastal waters, a visual distress signal is required. A sound producing device such as a horn or whistle is required on all vessels than 39.4 feet. All vessels with gasoline engines must carry U.S. Coast Guard approved backfire flame arrestors. All boats must use running lights from dusk to dawn and during rain, fog, etc. The FWC also recommend that vessels carry an anchor with sufficient line, oars, or paddles, and a bilge pump in case of flooding. To obtain information specific to the different vessel classes, visit their website. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary will conduct a free vessel safety check for anyone who requests the service. Their website provides a short request form which can be submitted online. They state that one of the biggest reasons for citizens to request a safety check is for peace of mind, and in some cases insurance

More about Boating Accidents In Florida

Open Document