Accidents on the Water

Summer rings in the boating season and any one of Alabama’s 31 lakes offer great playtime on the water. It is important to keep in mind though that because it’s a favorite pastime, the waterways are likely to be more crowded than usual. People are in celebratory vacation moods and that can sometimes equate to a more carefree attitude toward safety.

Those carefree attitudes and inattention can cause terrible tragedy when it involves the driver of a boat. Add to that an inexperienced driver, alcohol, and/or speed and you’ve got a deadly combination at the helm.

Buford, GA just reported a deadly weekend boat crash on Lake Lanier. It is reported that the speed boat and pontoon collided around midnight near Habersham Marina.

A man was thrown overboard the pontoon boat and killed. Five hours later, rescue crews found a woman who had been on the pontoon as well. She has been hospitalized with critical injuries. There were two people aboard the speed boat. Both made their way to shore after their boat began to sink. The two of them were treated for minor injuries.

It was determined by the condition of both boats that speed played a role in the accident. Authorities are still investigating the crash, but there’s a possibility of criminal charges.

A summer boating can quickly turn to tragedy if care isn’t take to follow boating laws at all times. Operator Inattention is the leading cause of boating accidents in the United States, according to the US Coast Guard. Improper Lookout ranks number two. Third is Operator Inexperience. Coming in at number four is Excessive Speed, followed by Alcohol Use.

The same care should be taken on our beautiful state’s waterways as are taken on the roads. Keep an experienced designated driver and lookout person to ensure everyone’s safety.