As the boating season begins, Maryland Natural Resources Police have their eyes on Ocean City, Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, and Sandy Point State Park in Anne Arundel County as three areas where the largest number of boating accidents have been known to occur.
In 2006, boating police implemented state trooper strategies in these “big three” areas and succeeded in reducing the number of boating accidents in all three places. They plan to implement the same strategies this year.
Strategies from last year included using helicopter patrols to survey the areas, radio warnings to boats patrolling the areas, checkpoints for testing boat drivers for driving under the influence, and visits to personal watercraft rental shop areas to make sure renters obeyed state laws.
In Ocean City, personal watercrafts are the number #1 problem in Ocean City’s waters, according to the Maryland NRP. In 2005, there were 29 boating accidents in the area, and nearly half of the boats involved were personal watercrafts. More than 50% of these vessels were privately owned and driven by individuals 16-21 years of age who weren’t certified in boater safety.
The U.S. Coast Guard offers a number of boating statistics for 2005, including the following:
• There were 4,969 boating accidents in 2005
• 697 of these accidents resulted in deaths
• 3,451 accidents resulted in injuries
• Over $38 million in property was damaged in these accidents
• The most commonly reported kind of accident involved one boat colliding with another vessel
• Falls overboard and boats capsizing make up 59% of all boating deaths
• Leading contributing factors of all accidents that were reported include operator inattention, carelessness/reckless operation, operator inexperience, and excessive speed
• Alcohol either directly or indirectly contributed to about 25% of all boating deaths
Lebowitz and Mzhen represents clients who have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a boating accident caused by a negligent party or person. By law, a boat’s operator and/or owner are obligated to exercise extreme caution to make sure that injuries and fatalities do not occur to boat passengers, swimmers, and anyone else in the area.
If you feel that you would like to file a personal injury claim or a wrongful death lawsuit against a negligent party in a boating collision, contact Lebowitz and Mzhen today. We represent clients in Maryland and the Washington D.C. area, and your first consultation with us is free.
Patrols clip bad boaters, Delmarvanow.com, May 5, 2007
Boating Statistics, 2005, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, United States Coast Guard
Boating Safety, USCGBoating.org
Maryland Natural Resources Police