More than two dozen people died in boating accidents in North Carolina last year, and almost 100 people suffered boat accident injuries. Sometimes accident victims are passengers on the boat, while other times they are swimmers. There are several popular lakes around North Carolina: Jordan, Kerr, Norman, High Rock, just to name a few. In the Raleigh area alone there are a half dozen lakes that offer boat ramps and seasonal rentals. (Jordan, Johnson, Wheeler, Lynn, Shelley, Crabtree - some of which offer year-round rentals.)
From sailboats and motorboats, to the slow-going kayaks and paddleboats, there is a degree of responsibility shared by everyone operating a watercraft and also those using the lake for other recreational purposes. One of the most talked about causes of boat accidents is drunken boating.
Drunk driving is not just a problem on roadways, it’s a problem on waterways too. Drunken boaters are the focus of North Carolina’s latest safety campaign, which law enforcement officers will be looking for on over 5,000 square miles of the state’s waterways, according to the governor’s office. The campaign “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” will be in full force from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2013.
For those who enjoy their boats responsibly and stay sober, they and their loved ones should still practice safe boating habits to help prevent accidents. They should make sure they have and use proper safety equipment and flotation devices. Law enforcement officers will perform random pre-launch inspections to make sure watercrafts are equipped appropriately.
Just as police officers pull over drivers for sobriety checks, law enforcement teams will do the same for those operating boats. Before heading out on the water, be sure to inform passengers and anyone who may operate your watercraft about the laws concerning drunken boating. Also check with your insurance provider to make certain your boaters insurance is active and carries the coverage you need. If you or someone you love becomes the victim of a boating accident, contact our Raleigh boating accident attorneys to learn how federal, state, municipal, and maritime laws may individually affect your case.