Recent Deadly Connecticut Boating Accident Reminder of Risks, Attorney Says
Boating fatalities and accidents involving jetskis (personal watercraft) significantly increased nationwide last year, according to the latest national statistics. And a recent boating fatality near New Haven, Connecticut on Long Island Sound proves that boating remains dangerous in Connecticut, according to Connecticut boating accident attorney Joseph Morelli.
"Summertime in New England's a great time for boating, but people also need to be aware that operating a boat can be dangerous or even deadly in certain circumstances," Morelli said. "The recent boating fatality on Long Island Sound serves as a stark reminder of just how dangerous boating can be in our area this time of year."
A 43-year-old Guilford, Conn. resident died as a result of a boating accident on July 29 near New Haven Harbor, according to WSFB News. The operator of the boat, Joseph Regan, reportedly struck an object in the water and was ejected from the boat and sustained injuries, which he later died at New Haven Hospital. The accident remains under investigation the Connecticut State Environmental Conservation Police, according to WTNH News.
By The Numbers
Last year, there were 3 boating fatalities in Connecticut, according to statistics compiled by the United States Coast Guard and released in May 2017. In the previous year of 2015, there were 6 boating fatalities in Connecticut.
In contrast, the number of boating fatalities nationwide skyrocketed in 2016 to its highest level since 2011. In 2016, there were 701 boating fatalities nationwide, an increase of 75 fatalities or 11.9 percent compared to 2015, where there were 626 boating fatalities.
The numbers were even worse last year for jetskis, often referred to as "personal watercraft." The number of people killed in jetski accidents nationwide increased by 39 percent, from 33 fatalities in 2015 to 46 fatal in 2016, according to the United States Coast Guard. Injuries also increased last year for jetski accidents nationwide from 623 in 2015 to 675 in 2016.
The last time the number of people killed in boating accidents exceeded 700 fatalities was 2011, when 758 people died in boating accidents nationwide, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Here are the complete statistics for Connecticut and nationwide for the last five years.
Why Accidents Happen
Boating accidents happen for many different reasons. According to the United States Coast Guard, the 5 leading causes of boating accidents nationwide in 2016 were:
As for personal watercraft, the 5 leading causes of jetski accidents nationwide in 2016 were:
This time of year is also especially dangerous since there are so many boats and jetskis in the water during the summer months. Specifically, the three summer months (June, July and August) statistically have the most boating accidents each year. Here are the monthly figures for 2016 nationwide:
Avoiding Boating Accidents
There are steps you can take to avoid a boating accident, according to Connecticut boating accident attorney Joseph Morelli. Some suggestions include:
- Take a safety course - If you have not already done so, take an official, accredited boating safety course. And even if you have already done so, it never hurts to take a refresher course from a professional.
- Wear a life jacket - Wearing a life vest should be second nature. One of the most common reasons why people drown is because they were not wearing a life jacket. Don't become another statistic.
- Maintain boat - Make sure your boat is in proper working order before you take it out on the water. This includes making sure all through-hull fittings are properly sealed. A few extra minutes could save a life and avoid an accident.
- Monitor weather - Don't take your boat out on the water if a hurricane, thunderstorm or another severe storm is approaching. Rough seas and large waves can be deadly. It's your responsibility to responsible.
- Slow down - Many accidents happen because boaters drive too fast and don't have enough time to stop. This is especially true at night when it's hard to see other boats or objects in the water. Some jetski operators also travel too fast, resulting in accidents.
Unfortunately, even if you take all of these steps and many more, boating accidents still occur. And when they do, you need to make sure you take legal action to protect your rights and hold the negligent boater responsible for your accident. That's where we can help.
Why Choose Us
The exceptional legal team at the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone & Morelli have years of experience handling complicated boating accidents and crashes involving jetskis throughout Connecticut. We thoroughly understand the state's boating laws and know what it takes to win.
When you have us on your side, we can handle everything involving your boating accident - from helping you fill out an accident claim form to dealing directly with insurance companies on your behalf. This is especially important since insurance companies often only make a one-time offer to cover all your accident-related expenses for the rest of your life.
Most insurance companies make low-ball settlement offers. We know how to demand more money from them to cover the true cost of your accident. And if they won't cooperate, we're prepared to take legal action against them on your behalf. You have options. And we can help you decide which one works best for you. Contact us and schedule your free case evaluation. We have eight office locations throughout Connecticut to serve all your legal needs.