Articles Posted in Boating Accident

The Fourth of July weekend is upon us and you will probably be celebrating with friends and family enjoying fireworks, swimming, grilling, or even boating. This summer holiday boasts many fun traditions, but as with all fun, there are also inherent dangers.

This is why our Hernando County Injury Lawyers at Whittel & Melton encourage you to plan ahead this holiday weekend and celebrate in Spring Hill and Brooksville responsibly.  Here are our top 5 safety tips for ringing in Independence Day 2022:

  1. Red-and-Blue-Banner-Fourth-of-July-Facebook-Post-300x251Leave the fireworks to the pros: Every year thousands of people are harmed in fireworks accidents. Most people think Fourth of July fireworks, like sparklers, are pretty much safe, but even these tiny sparks can reach temperatures of temps of 1,800 degrees. In addition to serious burn injuries, fireworks can result in devastating property damage and fires that can lead to death. If you would like to encourage fireworks this Fourth of July, then we encourage you to go visit a professional show – you can view the awesome displays all while avoiding an unnecessary injury. If you still feel the need for some sparklers, then make sure you peruse what is legal in accordance to the State Fire Marshal.
  2. Grill safely: Grilling accidents can happen to even the most seasoned “grill masters.” In fact, grilling injuries affect about 20,000 Americans every year. If you plan to fire up your grill this holiday weekend to prepare your own Independence Day feast, then please follow these tips:
  • Prevent the spread of germs and wash your hands and all grilling tools before you handle any food.
  • Fat buildup can accumulate with every use and cause a fire, so clean your grill before and after you use it.
  • Gas leaks are common, so check any hoses for cracks that could lead to an unexpected leak. Open your grill lid before you ignite your grill.
  • Grill in an open area that is away from your home and other structures, including trees, as being in enclosed spaces or near trees can easily cause a fire.
  • Grills can cause splatters to your patio and other surfaces, so place a grill pad underneath your grill to catch any spills.
  • All children, pets, and anyone drinking should be kept away from a grill for safety purposes.
  • If you are not using your grill, make sure it is completely shut off and stored appropriately. It is also a good idea to disconnect and store all propane tanks in a cool place that is away from the sun.
  1. Party responsibly: The Fourth of July is a time for celebration, and if you plan to drink, then do so responsibly. If you are hosting a party, do not serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. On that same note, make sure you have water and food for guests to help with the metabolism of alcohol. Take any keys away from guests who are inebriated and maybe have a guest room available for them to sleep it off or call a cab or download a rideshare app. If you are out at a bar or restaurant celebrating, then have a designated driver picked out to get you home safe. You can also plan to use a rideshare app or cab to get you home safe.
  2. Boat safely: If you are going to be on Bayport, Jenkins Creek, Hernando Beach Boat Ramp, Weeki Wachee/Rogers Park, Hunters Lake, Lake Lindsey, Lake Townsen Boat Ramp, Mountain Lake, or Withlacoochee/Nobleton over the Fourth of July weekend, then follow these tips:
  • Look at weather conditions before you get out on the water in case there are high winds or a thunderstorm rolling in.
  • Never drink and drive a boat – you can be arrested for doing so and this is just not safe. You should also limit all passenger’s consumption of alcohol to prevent any unnecessary accidents or injuries.
  • You will want to let a friend or family member know what your boating plans are in case something happens someone knows where you are.
  • Make sure everyone on the boat is wearing a lifejacket that fits.
  1. Be safe when swimming: It is very common for people to beat the heat of the Fourth of July by swimming at lakes, beaches, and swimming pools. Drowning accidents are a top cause of death in children under the age of 15. If you are going to be swimming this holiday weekend, then remember the following tips:
  • Never leave children unattended around water. Drowning and near drowning accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. Never assume that a lifeguard or someone else is watching your child. Be alert and ready when children are in or near water.
  • No one should run around a swimming pool – slip and fall accidents can happen very easily.
  • If your children are using flotation devices, then make sure you are purchasing ones that are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. While these may be pricier than other floaties, cheaper ones tend to not perform well and could malfunction.
  • Do not dive into shallow waters – this can result in traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord trauma.

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With more people heading out on the Gulf for scalloping season, new speed zones have been implemented.

Now the area is an idle speed/no wake zone. It’s something Hernando County has been working on for over a year and having to work with the state for the permitting to make it happen.

One of the big issues in the area is blind corners where oncoming boaters can’t see the traffic coming from the other side.

Some boaters have run ashore here since the channel is so close to the shore line and it can get pretty shallow.

A person can be ticketed if you go too fast in an idle speed zone. Those tickets cost around $73.

It is important to remember that the water is inherently dangerous, and when boating accidents occur, the aftermath can be severe. Sadly, serious injuries and drowning are all too common when boating, and it can be a difficult process for victims to recover financial compensation for their losses without the help of our Hernando County Boating Accident Attorneys at Whittel & Melton.

Boating accidents can happen for numerous reasons, but the most common are:

  • Collisions with another boat
  • Collisions with a stationary or submerged object
  • Equipment Failure
  • Operator Error
  • Speeding
  • Ignoring safety rules

One of the biggest issues surrounding boating accidents is that they can involve a wide variety of factors. Discovering exactly what happened and determining who is at fault can be a daunting task. However, our experienced boating accident lawyers know how to investigate these accidents to find out who is liable.

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