Sixty-seven people were killed and 431 injured in Florida boating accidents in 2011, according to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting. Florida had more boating injuries and deaths than any other state.

Florida has 2,000 marinas, 1,700 miles of rivers, more than 3 million acres of lakes, and 8,000 miles of coastline. Nearly a million boats, more than in any other state, are registered in Florida. In addition, there are an estimated 300,000 unregistered boats in the state.

Safety advocates say better safety equipment and requirements for boaters would reduce deaths and injuries. The 2011 deaths included 32 people who fell overboard and drowned. Most were not wearing life jackets.

Most boating deaths are avoidable, said Pamela Dillon of the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, as quoted by the Investigative Reporting Center. “If you mandate people to wear a life jacket, they might not understand why they need to do that. But when you educate them, we have a chance to influence their behavior.”

The boating industry often resists more regulations for fear they will discourage boating. But Dillon said legislators need to act.

“Unfortunately, more innocent boaters will continue to lose their lives and their grieving family members will continue to ask, ‘Why?'” Dillon added. “Our elected representatives are the only ones who can answer that question.”

If you were injured in a boating accident that was the result of faulty equipment or negligence on the part of a boat operator, you could be entitled to compensation.

Talk to the Florida personal injury attorneys at Disparti Law Group, P.A., of Tampa, a firm that puts focuses on people who have been seriously hurt in accidents caused by other people. We have been representing injury victims for more than 30 years and can help you get the money damages you need.

Call the Disparti Law Group, P.A., today at 888-861-7757 or get in touch through our online contact form.