Cruising on your boat along the Florida coast can be a great way to get away from other people. Just you and your boat under the big blue sky.

Don’t get too relaxed though. There are other boaters out there, and some of them are an accident waiting to happen. These are the top three causes of boating accidents, according to the U.S. Coastguard 2018 data:

  1. Operator inattention: It’s the recreational boating equivalent of distracted driving. There is a lot to do on a boat. There are champagne flutes to fill, gourmet snacks to prepare, charts to study, fishing lines to bait up and games to tune into on the radio. All great ways to forget you are in charge of a moving boat.
  2. Improper lookout: The endless ocean is not as endless as it seems. It is full of obstacles. The bigger your boat, the harder it can be to see things, and the more imperative it is you have a lookout. Crashing into other water users, rocks, jetties or the beach can all cause injury to people.
  3. Operator inexperience: You do not need a license to drive a boat in Florida. Take a safety course that gives you a Florida Boating Safety ID card and you never need to do any training again. While most people drive their cars regularly, a lot of people only use their boats a few times per year. So there are a lot of inexperienced people cruising the coast. They may not be able to handle their boat well or cope with stormy weather.

If you have been in a boating accident, the Law Offices of John W. Merting, P.A. offers you legal expertise backed up by many years of personal boating and jet ski operating experience. Mr. Merting is Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime Law and has been re-certified four times.