Boating Is A Popular Recreational Activity Nationwide

When Americans see water, no matter where they are, we want to put a boat in the water and go for a ride. Rivers, lakes, oceans, sailboats, or power boats, it doesn’t matter. Americans love boating. That applies to California as much as any other state, and for good reason. In most of the state, the weather is good year-round, and the state has ample lakes and rivers, not to mention hundreds of miles of ocean coastline, for people to put a boat in the water and go have a little fun.

Unfortunately, sometimes the results of people putting boats in the water don’t involve fun; they involve accidents, injuries, and even death. If you or a loved one was hurt in a boating accident, contact the California personal injury attorneys of Maire & Deedon.

Millions Of Californians Go Boating, But There Are Risks

In 2021, there were nearly 12 million boats registered nationwide. The Coast Guard recorded more than 4,000 reportable accidents resulting in 636 deaths and more than 2,200 non-fatal injuries. Property damage topped $63 million nationwide. Excessive speed, alcohol use, and operator inattention or inexperience were among the leading causes of those accidents.

In 2021, there were more than one million boats registered in California, making it the top state for boat registrations. However, many boats and other watercraft – such as non-motorized boats under eight feet long. Paddle boards and boats under eight feet long with engines of less than 15 horsepower, among others – do not need to be registered. The state estimates a total of about four million watercraft, registered and unregistered, statewide. With that many hulls in the water, it stands to reason that there will be accidents.

Given the number of boats in California, it is not surprising that California suffered its fair share of accidents, injuries, and fatalities on the water. In 2021, California accounted for 454 boating accidents, roughly 10% of the nationwide total. Of those, 37 were fatal accidents resulting in 39 deaths, while 190 of those accidents involved non-fatal injuries, with 235 total injuries and $6.3 million in property damage. All of those figures amount to about 10 percent of the nationwide numbers. California is holding up its end on the boating accidents front.

Boating Safety Education Helps Avoid Accidents

In 2021, when the training status of the boat operator was known, 75% of fatalities happened in accidents operated by someone with no water safety training. Those numbers are fairly consistent over the years, making it unlikely that the lack of training is a coincidence in so many boating accidents. California requires a boating license for anyone under the age of 20 who is operating a boat in state waters with an engine of 15 horsepower or more. You must be 16 years old to obtain a license, and by 2025 everyone operating a motorized boat of more than 15 horsepower will be required to have a license. Getting the license requires passing an approved boating safety course.

If You Have Suffered An Injury In A Boating Accident, Talk To The Attorneys of Maire & Deedon

With abundant lakes and rivers, not to mention hundreds of miles of ocean coastline, Californians have multiple options for boating activity. Inevitably, that leads to accidents, injuries, or even deaths. If you have been hurt in a boating accident, you should call the Redding, CA, personal injury attorneys of Maire & Deedon. We can help you find out whether you have a claim for damages. We also can advise you on your best options for pursuing any claim you might have and help you get the compensation you deserve.