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Four Common Causes Of Boating Accidents In SW Florida

Like most people in Florida, residents of Fort Meyers, Port Charlotte, and other areas are more than willing to enjoy some fun in the water with a boat. Florida has one of the most active boating scenes in the country, with our mild weather making it possible for boaters to enjoy their watercraft throughout the year.

However, this also means that there’s a greater risk of boating accidents. Some are unpredictable and unavoidable, while some are just the results of bad choices. Here are the four most common reasons boating accidents happen in Florida.


This is a widespread reason. Capsizing tends to happen in the evening hours, closer to twilight. A combination of low lighting conditions and substance abuse often contribute to these accidents. Weather also plays a significant role. All it takes is a boat anchored from the stern to encounter to hit gusting waves or some other swell, and the craft can fill with water and capsize.

Boats are designed to float, but that in no way guarantees stability, especially for people standing on a watercraft.

Poor Forward Watch

Environmental awareness is crucial to survival in the water. Still, for many people using watercraft for pleasure, this essential safety measure is often forgotten or may never have been taught at all. Maintaining a good forward watch means having someone scanning what is ahead of the craft for obstacles or other possible risks.

While it is easy to spot another craft, especially a larger one, smaller craft are not so easy. Striking an object can still rock a boat, causing people to lose balance and even fall out of
the boat if they are too close to the edge.

Substance Abuse

While professional fishermen need to stay sober when on the job, most other people view boats as recreational vehicles. Consequently, it’s not unusual for people to bring along alcohol to enjoy. While that’s fine for passengers, someone operating the boat under the influence of alcohol is subject to the same impairment and vulnerabilities as driving a car while drunk.
Alcohol being a factor in boating accidents in Florida is an all-too-common occurrence.

Unfortunately, this is also one of the most legally clear-cut situations for a lawsuit. As with driving on land, operating a watercraft while drunk is also against the law.

Not Using A Life Jacket Or Other PFD

Personal Flotation Devices, some known as life-jackets, is ungainly and often not aesthetically pleasing. However, the goal of any PFD is not to look good but ensure that, even if a person is unconscious, they remain afloat above the surface of the water and can breathe.

Not using a PFD is the leading cause of accidents—especially drowning-related accidents—in boating. Many people view them as intrusive and over-cautious. However, the moment someone falls off a boat, it is usually too late to give them a PFD.

If you’ve been injured in a boat, and someone else is responsible, get legal help. Talk to a Florida marine accident lawyer about how you can get the compensation that you’re owed.

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