Four boaters on Florida’s West coast are relieved to have avoided serious injuries after their 23-foot boat overturned. The boat flipped after striking a sandy beach jutting out into the Intracoastal Waterway.
Firefighters arrived on the scene to find the boat about 20 feet up on the beach. The passengers dug themselves out from under the boat, and were able to free a child who was trapped underneath. The boy was taken to the hospital as a precaution, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
A similar occurence happened just south of Jacksonville recently on Black Creek, when a man operating a small boat lost control and struck trees coming out from the bank. One person died in that accident.
Boaters should be aware of the dangers of running aground, or striking objects, especially at night. Hitting a sandbar at even a slow speed can cause a serious boating accident, since boats have no seatbelts and passengers can easily be ejected. Jacksonville boaters should pay particular attention to the unpredictable terrain in the St. Johns River and the Intracoastal Waterway, where there are many sandbars and hidden shallow areas.
Making sure your boat has working lights and slowing down in uncertain areas can help boaters avoid accidents. Taking a boating saftety course, like the one available through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, is another way to avoid a mishap.
Written by Elizabeth Allen
If you have questions related to boating accidents in the greater Jacksonville area, contact one of our maritime and admiralty lawyers.