The Importance of Boating Safety
Boating in North Carolina is a relaxing activity for those who like to water ski, fish and sail along the state’s waterways. But it’s not all fun and games, and when people are not careful in their boats, serious accidents can occur. According to a study published by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, in 2010 there were 154 boating accidents around the state – which resulted in 123 people needing medical treatment and 26 people dying as a result of their injuries. According to the Commission, the causes for boating accidents in North Carolina include the lack of experience and education of boaters, distractions, collisions with other boats, speeding and the reckless operation of boats. In addition, the majority of boating fatalities in the state were the result of someone falling or jumping overboard.
State Boating Regulations
There are several regulations in place to help keep boaters safe around North Carolina:
- Boating education courses must be completed by boaters under 26 years old
- In order to operate a boat in North Carolina, someone must be at least 14 years of age. Those who are 14 to 16 can only operate the vessel if they are accompanied by an adult who has completed the state’s boating education requirements
- Boaters cannot operate their vehicles between sunset and sunrise hours
- In order to tow someone on skis, a boat must have a rearview mirror
- Everyone on a boat must wear a personal floatation device
- Vessels must not follow another boat too closely (i.e., within 100 feet of the rear or 50 feet of the side)
If you have been injured in a boating accident, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney in your area. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your injuries. Do not settle your potential case without understanding the options available to you.