Louisiana’s connection to water is etched in its geographical landscape. The mighty Mississippi River, Red River, Toledo Bend, and Lake Pontchartrain are just a few examples of the major bodies of water in the state. Louisiana boasts one of the longest state coastlines in the U.S., sharing its southernmost border with the Gulf of Mexico. The unique landscape and diverse natural environment is attractive to recreational boaters who dot the waterways in their various watercrafts.
Types of Boats
There are hundreds of types of boats. Primarily boats can be classified as unpowered, or man-powered (like rafts, gondolas, and kayaks); sailboats (sail propelled); or motorboats (engine-powered). Among the most popular boats on Louisiana’s waterways are fishing boats, bass boats, bowrider boats, catamaran boats, cuddy cabin boats, centre console boats, dinghy boats, houseboats, trawler boats, motor yacht boats, and personal watercraft boats, like jet skis.
Boating Accidents on the Rise
The U.S. Coast Guard has released its 2016 Recreational Boating Statistics Report, which is the latest year for which statistics are available. Its key findings demonstrate that boating accidents are on the rise. Injuries and death following boating accidents have increased over 10% year to year. The following statistics paint a grim picture:
- 4,463 boating accidents were reported, representing a 7.4% increase from the prior year;
- 2,903 reported injuries, an 11.1% increase from the prior year; and
- 701 reported deaths, a 12% increase from the prior year.
- Drowning is the leading cause of death following a boating accident.
- 80% of boating deaths due to drowning; and
- Two-thirds of drowning victims are good swimmers.
- Louisiana is ranked #5, with 24 deaths reported boating deaths in 2016, behind Florida, Texas, California, and Michigan.
- 77% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had no boating safety instruction; and
- 83% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket when they went overboard.
- It is illegal in Louisiana to operate a boat while drunk or under the influence of drugs. 15% of deaths were attributed to drunk operating of boats.
Injured in a Boating Accident? Call Louisiana’s Boating Accident Lawyers
If you have been injured in a boating accident that was someone else’s fault, you may be entitled to compensation. Many victims of boating accidents are injured and even killed due to drowning. Prior to being thrown overboard or falling overboard after a collision, the victims were not wearing flotation devices or lifesavers. On impact, catastrophic injuries and even death are common, even if the victims are good swimmers.
Louisiana law firm Mansfield, Melancon, Cranmer & Dick LLC has successfully represented victims of all types of boating accidents in Louisiana. We also represent victims of auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, and nursing home or adult care facilities abuse. Call today to schedule an immediate appointment. We have offices in New Orleans 888-601-0127, Baton Rouge 225-612-0800, or Lafayette 337-409-0003. You can also request an appointment via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or book an online appointment here.