Thousands of people take to the water every summer on boats off of Connecticut shores for recreational purposes. Fishing, water skiing and just socializing out on the open water can all be reasons to head out in a boat when the weather is nice. Most boating trips are completely uneventful and result in pleasant memories. Unfortunately, there are also rare but concerning situations in which a boat ride turns tragic.
Sometimes boats collide with one another or with people in the water. Other times, there may be a single vessel incident, such as when waves lead to a boat capsizing. There are numerous factors that contribute to boating incidents in Connecticut and elsewhere, but the United States Coast Guard notes that some of the most common are caused by preventable influences.
Alcohol and drug impairment
Oftentimes, people seek to enhance their relaxation and socialization by adding a cooler of cold beverages to the mix. Unfortunately, intoxicated boating can be as dangerous as intoxicated driving. In fact, with a lack of clearly marked lanes and speed limits, impairment and boating can be a particularly dangerous combination that leads to reckless behavior. People often underestimate their level of intoxication, especially if they can sit while operating the boat, and could end up well over the legal limit.
Operating a boat requires focus and attention to one’s surroundings, but not everyone remains focused on the operation of their vessel the way that they should. Some people will become too involved in conversations with others on the boat, while others might allow a phone or other forms of entertainment to distract them from the active operation of the boat. Failing to pay attention to one’s surroundings could potentially lead to a tragedy when operating a boat.
Running out of gas
A surprising number of boating incidents start with one vessel running out of fuel. Having spare fuel for an emergency and also checking fuel levels before beginning a trip and monitoring them throughout the excursion are crucial to remaining in control of the vessel and being able to prevent a collision.
Boating accidents are particularly dangerous because there are many secondary risk factors, including the possibility of a fire or someone drowning. In some cases, there may be another party that is liable for a boating incident, such as someone who has been operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol. Pursuing a personal injury claim after a boating incident could help cover both damage to a vessel and injury-related losses suffered by the people involved in the incident.