Florida is a state that is fortunate enough to have waters for people to take their boats on once October approaches. However, it has caused the state to lead the country in boating accidents and fatalities for multiple years.

Part of the reason there have been so many accidents is because many boaters and maritime workers do not adjust properly to the seasonal changes. While Florida is still open for residents and workers to take their water vehicles out for a spin, it still has the obstacles you would find during the winter in the other states.

Darker hours

Florida may be known as “The Sunshine State”, but it is not immune from losing a large portion of that sunshine during the later seasons of the year. Soon the sunset times will occur around 6:00 rather than 7. If you do not let the earlier nighttime dissuade you from taking your boat out into the water, make sure your vessel has the proper lighting and sound system so you can alert others out on the sea of your presence or to get someone’s attention in the event of an emergency.

Colder waters

As the temperature in the air starts dropping, so does the water. While October’s water temperatures are relatively safe, your breathing begins to be affected once the temperatures fall below 77 degrees Fahrenheit, which typically occurs around November. You get into major risk when waters could be potentially below 70 degrees in December, as cold stress and hypothermia can still occur even if the air is above 40 degrees. Make sure you are wearing proper equipment to control your breathing and body temperature if you go into the water at this time.

Holiday traffic

Florida is a popular spot for travelers around the holidays. Around Thanksgiving and Christmas, expect an increase in boat activity around some of the major passageways. These holidays are also notorious for drunk drivers, and the same goes for water vehicles. Just use your typical safety protocols when it comes to speed and control on the sea and you have a better chance of avoiding any major injuries.

However, it may not stop another boater from recklessly crashing into you. Florida is strict about its maritime laws and respecting the space and property of others on the water. If you suffer damages from someone else’s negligence, maritime attorney John W. Merting can aid you in acquiring compensation for the incident.