Whether hovercrafting through the Keys or cruising out to the ocean for deep sea fishing adventures, boat enthusiasts in Florida enjoy some of the most beautiful and diverse waterways in the nation. It should come as no surprise that the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) statistics indicate that Florida has the most registered boats of any state in the country, with more than 900,000 registered watercraft. While hundreds of thousands of natives take to Florida waterways every year, these boaters are also joined by countless others that flock to Florida from across the globe, to dock in our ports and enjoy our bays.
Common boating violations
Owning and operating a boat is not without responsibilities. There is a huge body of law and regulations that apply to boats, enforced both by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement and the U.S. Coast Guard. Those caught violating boating laws face stiff penalties and even jail time.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the most common boating violations include:
- Boating in restricted areas
- Negligent operation of vessels
- Failure to maintain or carry necessary safety equipment
- Improper or insufficient lighting apparatuses
Boating accidents due to boating law violations
Unfortunately, tickets for violations and jail time are not the worst fate for maritime lawbreakers, as many of them seriously injure themselves or others in the process. Recently, alleged boat-related negligence resulted in the death of a 28-year old woman, whose family is now pursuing a wrongful death claim. Boating under the influence is another violation that results in innumerable injuries and fatalities each year.
When violations of Florida boating laws result in serious injuries, it’s time to speak to a qualified personal injury attorney with specific expertise in boating accidents.