Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

1334710_small_boat_2.jpgA boating accident occurred last week on the New River approximately fifteen miles downstream from the Bluestone Dam near Beckley, West Virginia. According to the Woods and Waters Charleston Gazette Blog, there were five men riding in a fourteen-foot jon boat that capsized. Two of the men were able to swim to safety, two others drowned, and a third man has still not been found. According to news reports, the group was not wearing life jackets, and the boat they were riding in was only rated to carry three people and 350 pounds. Authorities searched for the last victim by dragging the river and using sonar, but his body remains undiscovered.

Boating on fast moving rivers like the New River can be a thoroughly enjoyable experience, but those same swift waters that make for great recreation can also pose a great danger. We here at the Wolfe Law Firm are deeply saddened by the accident that took the lives of three men, and the incident shows just how important it is to exercise safe boating practices when out on any body of water. In this case, the owner of the boat may have been negligent in allowing too many passengers in his watercraft, and each of the men should have been wearing a life vest while out on the river.

Boating accidents are a fairly frequent occurrence on West Virginia’s many waterways, and if you or a loved one was injured in a boating incident, you should contact a professional West Virginia boating accident attorney as soon as possible. Not every accident is compensable under the law, but a lawyer can investigate the causes of your accident to determine if you have a viable legal claim. Whether you were injured or lost a loved one in such an accident, you should not wait to consult an attorney — the longer you wait to get help, the more difficult it will become for you to accumulate the evidence needed to build a successful case to protect your rights and interests.

1075397_boats_reflected_3.jpgAs the boating season comes to a close in West Virginia, it’s important to take precautions for next year to ensure that new boaters are aware of the rules of the state regarding safe boating operation. According to the State of West Virginia, the following regulations must be followed in order to operate a boat on waters within the state:

1. Anyone born after December 31, 1986 must complete a boating education course before they can operate a motorboat or personal watercraft in West Virginia.

2. Operators must satisfactorily complete a state-approved boating course or a course approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA).

1281691_sailing.jpgAs the summer months arrive, West Virginia residents will flock to local lakes and rivers with their boats, jet skis, canoes and kayaks. Water sports are the highlight of the summer for many people, but as more people head out on the water, the risk for boating accidents also increases.

Boating accidents are often exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol, driver lack of experience operating recreational boats and driver error. The U.S. Coast Guard urges drivers to wear life jackets to prevent or minimize injuries. According to a May 21, 2010 report by CBS affiliate station WOWK-TV in Huntington, 70% of people who die in boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket.

The U.S. Coast Guard also encourages boaters to keep away from locks and dams, as these locations can be hazardous for recreational boats and swimmers. Restricted areas around locks and dams are clearly marked and should be avoided at all times, unless you have authorization to travel through the lock.