According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation 2010 Boating Accidents Statistical Report, there were 668 boating accidents and 79 boating related fatalities. Many of these deaths and injuries incurred were due to victims falling overboard and drowning.
For example, a 13 year-old boy suffered facial injuries from a boat’s propellers in Jacksonville, Florida. The boy was operating the boat in a Ponte Vedra waterway. The teenager lost control of the boat and either fell out or jumped into a canal located near Granada Lane, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife investigators. The boat’s propellers struck the boy in the face when he was in the water. He was air-lifted to Shands Jacksonville for treatment according to First Coast News.
The State of Florida has taken the initiative to educate boaters about boating accident prevention. The FWC, in conjunction with the National Safe Boating Council, Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc., West Marine, the U.S. Coast Guard and others have launched a statewide safety campaign for boaters called the “Wear It Florida.” This campaign encourages boaters to wear life safety jackets anytime they are on the water, and educates boaters about the convenience of the generally unknown inflatable life jackets. The FCW is a firm believer that many boating fatalities can be prevented by the use of wearing a life jacket.
For more information on this topic, see Boy, 13, injured hwen hit in face by boat propellers in Ponte Vedra waterway.