Nighttime boating accidents tend to occur more around the holidays. Oftentimes, alcohol consumption by the watercraft operator is the main contributor to the boating accident. Another common cause is poor nighttime navigation lighting. It is permissible to operate a boat or watercraft at night in Louisiana. However, proper safety precautions should be followed.
Operating a Watercraft Under the Influence of Alcohol
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, roughly half of all boating fatalities involve alcohol. In Louisiana, a driver or boat operator with a blood alcohol concentration at .08 % or above is subject to arrest for operating a boat or watercraft vessel under the influence of alcohol (BUI). Operating a watercraft under the influence of a narcotic, barbiturate or marijuana is also prohibited.
Nighttime Navigation Lighting Rules
To operate a boat or watercraft in Louisiana, the vessel operator must make sure that the boat is equipped with the proper operational navigation lights. Navigation lights should be used when
- The watercraft is away from the dock between sunset and sunrise; and
- During periods of restricted visibility, such as fog or heavy rain.
The boat operator and any passengers should wear a life jacket to help them stay above water in the event of an accident or unexpected fall into the water.
Other potential nighttime boating accidents can occur in and around the marina and dock and affect commercial vessels like party boats, and towing accidents.
Marina and Dock Accidents
Keep in mind that not all boating accidents occur in the water. Many accidents occur in the marina and dock. Improper lighting, poor maintenance and poor upkeep of the dock also cause substantial injuries to boat operators and passengers. A slip and fall accident can occur on a boating vessel or the surrounding area. The boat operator and marina operator have an obligation to keep the deck, dock, and marina fee from slip and fall dangers that can lead to serious injury.
Party Boat Accidents
Alcohol abuse by passengers can lead to accidents when a drunk passenger falls overboard. The impact of the fall can lead to unconsciousness and drowning.
Injured in a Boating Accident? Call Louisiana’s Boating Accident Lawyers
If you or someone you know has been in a boating accident, a Louisiana boating accident lawyer can establish negligence and liability and help you obtain compensation for your personal, economic, and property damages.
To find out how we can help you call our Louisiana boating accident lawyers at Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC at our New Orleans 888-601-0127, Baton Rouge 225-612-0800, or Lafayette 337-409-0003 offices. You can also request an appointment online.
Louisiana law firm,Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC, represents victims of boating and other watercraft accidents. We also represent victims of auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, and nursing home or adult care facility negligence. Request an appointment online to protect yourself following a boating accident.