A horrific accident recently resulted in the deaths of two teenage boys who were out on a sailboat trip in Avinger, Texas. Authorities report that a group of boys from a Texas Boy Scouts troop were traveling on a sailboat when the vessel hit an overhead power line. Two boys, ages 16 and 18, died at the scene from apparent electrocution. A third child, age 11, was critically injured. All of the boys were wearing personal flotation devices. In light of this tragic accident, our Texas wrongful death lawyers discuss boating accidents in the state and offer some tips to keep you safe while out on the water.
Boating Dangers in Texas
Texas is considered a boating paradise, boasting more square miles of lakes than any other state. While generally a day out on the water in a boat, jet ski, or another personal watercraft will be fun and stress-free, at times serious boating accidents do occur. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is responsible for investigating most serious boating accidents involving injuries or wrongful deaths. Some of the top causes of fatal boating accidents include:
- Inexperienced operators: Mandatory boat operator education is required for younger boaters, but older boaters need not complete any course to drive a boat. As a result, many boat operators are unfamiliar with the rules of the water and could cause accidents.
- Drunk boating: High numbers of boaters indulge in alcoholic beverages while on the water. Boaters who are intoxicated may behave in a reckless manner by speeding or otherwise creating a dangerous situation for themselves and others.
- Failure to wear life jackets: Boating incidents can and do occur, but if the occupants of the boat are wearing life jackets, the odds of surviving a boat accident are far higher. Make sure your children aged 13 and under always wear a life jacket.
Stay Safe While Boating
To avoid a boating accident, it is important that you first make sure you know the rules of the waterways and how to safely operate a boat. Take a boating education course and consider riding along with a more experienced boater before setting off on your own. Never drink while operating a boat and do not leave home without a life jacket. Contact a personal injury attorney if you have been injured in a boating accident that was not your fault.