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Potential for Boating Accidents During the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 1, 2020 | Category: Boating Accidents | Share

Because of the COVID-19 shelter-in-place requirements, many boaters have not been able to participate in boating activities during the last few months.  As COVID-19 restrictions are lowered, more boating is anticipated, along with more boating accidents.

Potential for Boating Accidents During the COVID-19 PandemicThe National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) offers the following ten tips for practicing social distancing and keeping yourself, other boaters, and law enforcement officers, safe and healthy while boating.

  1. Don’t drink and boat. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in boater deaths. Do not bring or consume alcohol or drugs while on the water.
  2. Follow state and local guidance regarding any boating or access restrictions.
  3. Only boat with those in your household and don’t go boating if you or someone in your household is feeling sick.
  4. Don’t raft up. Don’t congregate with other boats or boaters.
  5. Stay at least six feet away from others. This includes maintaining a safe distance at fuel docks and launch ramps. Wear a cloth face mask in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain or during interaction with law enforcement.
  6. Limit contacts. Go from your house to the boat and back, limiting unnecessary contacts.
  7. Wear a life jacket. All boaters should be wearing a life jacket while near or on the water, and for the entire voyage. 84% of people who drowned in a recreational boating accident were not wearing a life jacket.
  8. Take a Boating Safety Education course. Many states offer online boating courses.
  9. Tell someone where you are going and when you’ll be back. File a float plan and make sure someone knows the details of your trip.
  10. Carry all required boating safety equipment and have a method of communication, such as VHF radios and personal locator beacons, that works when wet. 

The National Safe Boating Council (NSBC) wants boaters to wear life jackets at all times. It cites U.S. Coast Guard statistics to back its promotion:

  • 77 percent of boating deaths are due to drowning
  • 84 percent of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket
  • 2/3s of drowning victims are good swimmers

“Florida boating accidents in which there are injuries and/or deaths are subject to maritime law because they occur on navigable waterways. We are experienced in this highly specialized area of law. If you or a loved one is injured in a boating accident, after seeking medical attention, please contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. We are ready to assist you 24/7. There are no costs or attorney fees until we receive a monetary recovery for you. We represent people involved in numerous types of personal injury and wrongful death accidents throughout the state of Florida All of our clients have unique personal injury cases. Our firm provides personal contact and communication along with aggressive representation,” said Fort Myers Boat Accident Attorney Randall Spivey.


Fort Myers Boat Accident Attorney Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Trial Attorney – the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by just one percent (1%)  of Florida attorneys.  He has handled over 2,000 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida.  For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239.337.7483 or toll-free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to  Visit for more information.  You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County at 239.793.7748.





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