According to the executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, July is the busiest boating time of the year. It is estimated that millions of boaters will take to the waters during the extended 4th of July weekend. With more boats on the water, the chance for recreational boating accidents also increases-this is perhaps why July is also the deadliest month on the water, as the most fatalities take place during this month as well.
Even though the number of registered boats declined last year, the number of boating fatalities was 701 in 2016, up from 626 in 2015-this is the highest number recorded in the last five years. in Louisiana alone, the number of boating accidents increase from 87 in 2015 to 112 in 2016, demonstrating a 29 percent increase and the number of fatalities was up from 22 to 24. Where the U.S. fatality rate is 5.9 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational boaters, Louisiana’s rate is higher, at 7.8.
Injuries reported in boating accidents across the country also increased from 2,613 in 2015 to 2,903 in 2016, as did the number of accidents from 4,158 to 4,463. One of the biggest contributors to the increase in accidents is the use of alcohol-it was listed as the leading cause of accidents as it was the contributing factor in 15 percent of deaths across the country and 12.5 in Louisiana alone.
One death is too many when it comes to recreational boating – people are on the water to have fun and let loose – and losing loved one in such an unexpected fashion can be devastating for their family members. Though it is not possible to quantify the loss they have suffered, it may be possible to recover financial compensation through a civil suit that can cover the financial burden associated with losing a loved one.
Source: houmatoday.com, “Boating safety urged for Fourth of July holiday,” Brent St. Germain, June 28, 2017