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BOATING ACCIDENTS

Forces of mother nature are regularly encountered when you are boating, water skiing, jet skiing, tubing, and sailing. However, there are lifeguards, precautions and laws that make any type boating safer for you and your boat mates  in various weather conditions. Accidents on watercraft occur regularly on rivers, lakes and other bodies of open water. Victims are often less informed of their rights than victims of automobile accidents. Similar to car accidents and other forms of personal injury, it’s important to seek medical attention following a boating accident and to get as much information as possible from witnesses to the boat crash.

At Hollingsworth and Mumen, our team reverse engineers the events of the boating accident to conclude exactly what happened through investigating the facts and uncovering supporting evidence. It is always important to report a boating accident to the Life Guard / Police as early as possible if you were a victim of water craft or boating injury. See steps after accident, contact us

For updated information on boating rules and facts

U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division


For U.S. Coast Guard boating device recalls:

Boast Device Recalls

For U.S. Coast Guard boating safety circulars

Boating Safety Circulars

U.S.Coast Guard Boating Safety Division 
  • Seventy (70) percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, eighty-four (84) percent were not reported as wearing a life jacket.
  • Only eleven percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction. Only seven percent of deaths occurred on vessels where the operator had received boating safety instruction from a NASBLA-approved course provider.
  • Eight out of every ten boaters who drowned were using vessels less than 21 feet in length.
  • Operator attention issues, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and machinery failure rank as the top five primary contributing factors in accidents.
  • Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents; it was listed as the leading factor in 16% of the deaths.
  • Fifteen children under age thirteen lost their lives while boating in 2011. Sixty (60) percent of the children who died in 2011 died from drowning. 78% of those who drowned were wearing a life jacket as required by state and federal law.
  • The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (47%), personal watercraft (19%), and cabin motorboats (14%).


If you are an operator of a boating Accident:

The operator of any numbered vessel that was not required to be inspected or a vessel that was used for recreational purposes is required to file a BAR when, as a result of an occurrence of the following (that involves the vessel or its equipment):

*A person dies 

*A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death

*A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid

*Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 or more

*There is a complete loss of any vessel.
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The regulations also state the acceptable length of time in which the accident report must be submitted to the reporting authority. Boat operators or owners must submit:

  • Accident reports within 48 hours of an occurrence if:

  • A person dies within 24 hours of the occurrence

  • A person requires medical treatment beyond first aid
  • A person disappears from the vessel.

  • Accident reports within 10 days of an occurrence if there is damage to the vessel/property only.


The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that life jackets could have saved the lives of over 80% of boating fatality victims.

As a boat operator, you're in command of the safety of your passengers. But accidents can, and do happen with terrifying speed on the water. There's rarely time to reach stowed life jackets.

The U.S. Coast Guard favors you and your passengers to wear your life jacket all the time while underway (or at least have one for each passenger on board).

Sources of compensation for boating accident injuries/losses
  • Company /Business
  •  Individual
  • Government entity
  • Insurance company
  • Manufacturer
  • Wrongful Death
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses
  • Impairment of earning capacity
  • Life care expenses 
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Loss of consortium (the services of an injured spouse
  • Lost wages if you take time off form your job, sick leave or a vacation time to recover from injuries due to an accident, we may be able to get compensation for this time away from work.
  • Life care expenses including, architectural renovations to the patient's home, including tub, toilet, and ingress, transportation, such as an adaptive van, assistive technology and adaptive equipment, including wheelchairs, case management, supervisory care and nursing, medication, medical supplies (such as catheters), and medical equipment  facility care and services, home care and services
  • Loss of advice including comfort, assistance, protection, counsel, companionship