Jet Ski Tragedy Reflects Frequency of Florida Boating Accidents

Florida boating accidents are a huge problem.  The Sunshine State has the highest number of registered boats of any state in the country.  It also has one of the highest rates of boating accidents of any state in the country, both in terms of the number of accidents that occur on Florida waterways but also the number of those incidents that involve injuries and/or fatalities.  One person suffered life-threatening injuries and two others were injured in a jet ski incident that occurred in the waters off St. Augustine in northern Florida in recent weeks.  In the latest chapter in the long and tragic story of boating accidents in Florida, one of the boaters involved in this accident was found unconscious in the water without a heartbeat and had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment, while the other two also required treatment for their injuries at a nearby hospital.  This incident reflects, once again, the need for both more boater education in Florida as well as the need for enhanced measures to make Florida’s waterways safer for those using personal watercraft.

The St. Augustine Accident

According to a report from local news station WCTV, the accident occurred near the St. Augustine Inlet on a recent Saturday afternoon.  The inlet is a small channel in between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal that is known to be difficult to navigate even in the best of weather.  A pontoon boat was traveling through the channel when it passed by one of the victims floating in the water.  The victim was unconscious and without a heartbeat when the people in the pontoon boat navigated over to rescue him.  One of the passengers on the pontoon boat performed CPR on the accident victim on the way to the shore until first responders took over. The victim was then flown to nearby Orange Park Medical Center in critical condition, but his heart thankfully started beating again on the way.  A second victim sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was also taken to the hospital in serious condition.  A third victim was treated and released.  The cause of the crash is still under investigation and the exact details regarding how the accident occurred remains unknown.

The Statistics For Florida Boating Accidents 

Florida has the largest number of registered boats in the country according to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission’s 2018 annual report.  The FWC also found that there were 628 boating accidents in Florida in 2018, with 59 fatalities and 307 injuries as a result of those accidents.   Of the boating operators involved in boating accidents in 2018, 77 percent had no formal boater education whatsoever.  This is a major problem and appears to show that a lack of boater education is leading directly to death and injury on the water in Florida.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A

Boating accidents are extremely common in Florida, even among those who know what they are doing out on the water.  However, boating accidents occur with greater frequency in Florida than anywhere else in the United States; there is a high incidence of death and injury in Florida due to boating accidents because of the sheer numbers of boats on Florida’s waterways.  Since our experienced personal injury attorneys have more than 150 years of combined practice, the lawyers of Schwed, Adams & McGinley have represented numerous victims of Florida boating accidents and well understand both how often these tragedies occur as well as the devastating impact these tragedies can have on a decedent’s family, friends and loved ones.  If you, a family member or a loved one has been injured or killed in a boating accident, contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A at 877-694-6079 or contact@schwedlawfirm.com for a free consultation today.