A holiday weekend tragedy serves as a sobering reminder that watercraft safety and respect for its inherent dangers can save lives. According to a July 3, 2019 article published by Baltimore’s CBS News Channel 13, a man and his female companion were killed in a jet ski collision after leaving a residence at around 1:30 am in Anne Arundel County, MD. In response to calls that the two had not returned from their jet ski excursion, officials conducted a search. Both deceased victims were found around 5:15 am.
An investigation revealed that the jet ski hit a lighted navigational marker, but there were multiple indications that the duo disregarded some basic water safety rules. Protect your health by heeding a few key tips, and protect your rights by consulting with a Maryland personal injury and accident attorney.
Watercraft Safety Tips to Avoid Accidents
Wearing a personal flotation device (PFD) approved by the US Coast Guard is not just a common-sense tip. It is also the law for certain activities, such as skiing, tubing, wake-boarding, and others activities that involved being towed behind a gas-powered watercraft. In addition, there must be one PFD per person on the boat, and all children under age 13 must wear a PFD while on the water. Other water safety tips include:
- Never operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Check the weather forecast before departing and do not leave the dock if foul weather is predicted;
- Know the body of water and review navigational charts for underwater or hidden obstacles; and,
- Make sure you carry along a first aid kit.
Special Considerations Regarding Jet Skis and Personal Watercraft
There are additional laws and safety tips for operators of personal watercraft (PWC), including jet skis and wave runners. The couple who was recently killed while riding a jet ski compromised their own safety in two key respects:
- Neither was wearing a PFD while riding, which is the law for ALL operators and passengers aboard a PWC; and,
- They were jet skiing at night, another violation of Maryland law.
Besides compliance with regulations, you can also stay safe aboard a PWC by:
- Not carrying a passenger upon a PWC intended for solo use;
- Avoiding drag racing, tricks, and other reckless conduct;
- Not towing a skier or tuber, unless the PWC is designed for such use.
What to do if You are Injured
Your first priority should be getting to a safe location, as water-related accidents present a unique risk for victims — the possibility of drowning. In addition:
- Get proper medical care as soon as possible;
- Exchange contact and insurance information with other individuals who were involved in the accident or witnessed it; and,
- Contact an attorney if the accident was the result of someone else’s careless or reckless acts.
Reach Out to an Experienced Personal Injury Lawyer Today
If you were hurt in a water-related accident and negligence was a factor, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses. Please contact attorney Michael A. Freedman to discuss your legal options. We can set up a free case evaluation to review your circumstances and explain your rights.