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What to Do If You Are in a Boating Accident

Safety on the water is as important as safety on the road, and many of the rules that apply to driving a car are also required when driving a boat. That’s why it’s so important to know all the rules of the water, as well as any steps a boating passenger should take if he or she is involved in an accident, including contacting an accident attorney in Brevard County, Florida.

Boating Rules and Regulations
There are a number of boating laws in Florida that you should know the ins and outs of before you ever head out on the water, and here are a few of them:

  • It is illegal to operate a boat (excluding small non-motorized vessels like kayaks and canoes) without first registering it and prominently displaying the Certificate of Registration on the vessel.
  • Reckless and careless operation of a boat in Florida waters is highly dangerous. Whenever you’re out on the water, make sure you are aware of the safety of any passengers as well as other vessels in your vicinity.
  • Be sure you’re sober – it’s just as illegal to operate a boat under the influence as it is to drive a car.
  • To ensure the safety of everyone aboard your watercraft, each passenger must also wear a legally approved personal floatation device (PFD).
  • No one under the age of 14 should ever be operating a personal watercraft, and no one under the age of 18 is allowed to rent such a vessel. Furthermore, it is unlawful to knowingly allow anyone under the appropriate age to drive or rent a boat, even if you think you can provide adequate supervision and guidance.

By following proper boating rules and regulations, you can help ensure the safety of everyone out on the water.

I Had a Boating Accident: Now What?
If you’re in a maritime accident, a personal injury lawyer in Merritt Island like Brad Sinclair of Sinclair Law can help. Prior to any incident, however, you should be sure to have adequate insurance already established for your boat to help keep accident-related costs at a minimum.

If an accident has occurred, the first thing you should do is calmly and clearly assess the situation. If someone has been injured, that person should receive immediate attention unless the boat is still in harm’s way. Check in with the passengers of the other boat as well, and if you can, provide as much help as possible.

Next, it’s time to file an accident report with the Coast Guard. Be sure you know your location so help can arrive quickly. Take photos of the damages to your boat to help build your case – and don’t forget to contact an accident attorney in Brevard County.

Getting Legal Help
Mr. Sinclair, a personal injury lawyer in Merritt Island, can help you if you’re a passenger or crewmember of a cruise ship, tanker, motorboat, or other water-going vessel. With experience as a certified SCUBA diver for over 30 years, Sinclair has dealt with every type of boating incident under the sun, from diving for wreckage to representing victims in boating accidents. Contact us today to learn more.