The Coast Guard and law enforcement are pleased to report that there were no serious boating accidents this Fourth of July in the Miami area. This popular area of Florida often sees many boating accidents during the Fourth of July holiday, thanks in large part to the high number of boats on the water and an increase in alcohol consumption.
Last year, three boats collided, resulting in the deaths of four people. As a result, the Coast Guard enacted a 15-knot slow-speed zone from Black Point Marina to the Julia Tuttle Causeway from Saturday evening into Sunday morning. According to Key Biscayne Police Chief Charles Press, “I believe our campaign had a tremendous effect… This shows that education alongside very strict enforcement creates a safer environment.”
Throughout Miami-Dade, marine patrols aggressively enforced boating rules. Many citations were given out to boaters who failed to have the proper navigation lights. Other officers made arrests for boaters who were boating under the influence. According to Miami Fire-Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll, “The amount of presence definitely helped with people following those laws that were put in place for this weekend.”
The only major incident this year was a capsized boat. During this incident, three people were rescued. It seems that the stricter enforcement of boating laws and the newly enacted slow-speed zone has worked to lessen the number of accidents during the July 4th holiday weekend. Jorge Pino, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, stated, “We’re very happy that the Fourth of July came and went without a significant injury or death in the boating community…If we continue everything we are doing we can change the game for South Florida.”
Who Is Liable in a Boating Accident?
Boating accidents are covered by a special section of personal injury law. Treated much like car accident personal injury cases, boating accident cases can result in compensation for the victim. If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be able to hold the person driving the boat or the boat’s owner responsible. For example, if the boat owner was drinking alcohol and driving the boat, that person could be held liable for any injuries that passengers received. This is because it is against the law for a captain to operate a boat while impaired, just as it is illegal to operate a car or other vehicle while impaired.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, call the team at Bernstein & Maryanoff in Miami today. We have extensive experience helping boating accident victims build a personal injury case and fight for compensation.