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Boating Accidents

Accident Resource Center of Michigan

According to the U. S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Study, there were 4291 boating accidents during 2017. Although boating accidents are declining over time, 2016 saw a spike in fatalities in Michigan with 125, declining to 116 deaths in 2017.  Many serious injuries occur as a result of recreational boating accidents. Victims can suffer lacerations, broken bones and concussions.  Michigan boating accident data show that many fatal boating accident victims drown because they were not wearing a personal flotation device. Many lives could be saved if boaters always wear life jackets.

Michigan boating accidents involve motorboats, including cabin motorboats, personal watercraft, as well as non-motorized craft, such as canoes and kayaks. The most common types of Michigan boating accidents involve a collision with other vessels or with a fixed object, falling overboard, capsizing and water skiing accidents. Boating accidents occur because of  inattention, carelessness or inexperience of the boating operator, excessive speed, mechanical failures, improper behavior by passengers or skiers and operating watercraft in hazardous waters. Alcohol use is a contributing factor to many Michigan boating accidents. Boating operators have a legal obligation to operate their watercraft in a safe and responsible manner.

Here are a few tips for safe boating:

  1. Never drink alcohol and go boating.
  2. Take a boating safety course.
  3. Put down the cell phone.
  4. Drive at a safe speed and follow all boating safety and navigational rules.
  5. Check the weather and be prepared for it to change.
  6. Take action before a storm hits.
  7.  Register for a free Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) and have a VHF radio equipped with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) installed to your GPS.
  8. Use a carbon monoxide detector.
  9. File a float plan.
  10. Get a free Vessel Safety Check from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadron.

For additional safe boating tips, visit:

Victims of Michigan boating accidents may suffer death or serious injuries that require long-term hospitalization and rehabilitation, loss of wages and difficulties in assuming normal daily activities. If you, a friend or loved one has been injured in a Michigan boating accident, it is important that you speak with a knowledgeable and experienced Michigan boating accident lawyer to learn how you can protect your rights. Complete the online form for a free case evaluation or call the toll-free number of The Law Offices of Henry M. Hanflik at 1 (888) 905-4632.

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