The Coast Guard and Navy responded to the distress call from a 22-foot boat Friday afternoon. The four people aboard the boat reported they were sinking about 10 miles off the coast of Jacksonville. According to a story, Mayport’s Coast Guard Station sent a 47-foot rescue boat to the scene to help the boaters as their vessel was taking on water. Luckily no one suffered any personal injuries due to this incident.
This reminds us of similar scenes that are repeated often off Florida’s coast. A sudden storm pops up and rain and lightning hamper a quick return by the boaters. It is mandatory to know the weather before leaving the dock.
In this case, the engine broke off the boat, so time was of the essence.
Fortunately these boaters had life jackets on. Statistics show that boaters who wear their life jackets have a better chance of surviving a private boating accident in Florida at sea.
The Coast Guard estimates that about 80 percent of boating fatalities could have been prevented if those aboard wore life jackets. Requirements are that there should be a Type I, II, III or V life jacket for each person aboard.
If you are unconscious, a jacket is designed to keep your head above water and keep you in a position for proper breathing. And in freezing water, a jacket can keep you buoyant longer than without one, increasing your visibility and chances you’ll be picked up sooner. There are also boating safety courses offered by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which oversees our shores and manages fish and wildlife resources.
Luckily in this case, despite the engine quitting and the sudden weather, no lives were lost and everyone was safe. As we are at the start of the summer boating season, it is essential to remember to insist on your own life jacket and one for every member of your party. It could save your life.
The aftermath of a boating accident can be frightening and emotionally straining, especially when a family member is seriously injured or killed. When watercrafts are operated recklessly, those who are negligent should be held accountable for any injuries or wrongful death that they cause. Contact the skilled Jacksonville boating accident attorneys at Farah and Farah for a free and confidential evaluation of you or a loved one’s boating accident case.