How common are boating accidents in Myrtle Beach, SC?
In an area surrounded by water and visited by millions of tourists each year, boating, fishing, and recreational watersports are a big deal. Deep-sea fishing, parasailing, water skiing, jet skis, speedboats, and other activities on the water result in injuries and deaths every year in the Myrtle Beach area.
Below, I’ll discuss some recent boating accidents in the area, the US Coast Guard’s recreational boating statistics, and when you can sue after a boating accident.
If you have been involved in any kind of boating accident in the Myrtle Beach area, contact the Myrtle Beach boating accident lawyers at Axelrod and Associates immediately for a free consultation to find out whether you have a case and how we can help.
Boating Accidents in Myrtle Beach, SC
Every year, there are boating accidents in Myrtle Beach on the ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, the Waccamaw River, and other local rivers and lakes. Some result in no injuries, some result in property damage only, but others result in injuries and deaths.
In July of this year, a man was charged with negligent operation on the Intracoastal Waterway after he allegedly drove his boat over top of another boat, resulting in 12 people who were injured and four who were taken to the hospital:
On Sunday evening, [the operator] drove his boat over another boat, causing one to sink to the bottom of the Waterway, officials said.
Twelve people in total were treated as a result of the crash, with four being taken to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries, the release states.
In Georgetown, also in July, a man drowned after a boat crash in Georgetown, SC:
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Georgetown County Fire Rescue were called to a drowning following a boat accident, SCDNR said in a Twitter post. The boat crash happened at 18 St. James Street near Front Street in Georgetown County, according to Tony Hucks with Georgetown County Fire Rescue.
Another boating accident resulted in minor injuries in July on the Intracoastal Waterway near the Boat House restaurant:
According to Horry County Fire Rescue spokesman Tony Casey, an HCFR boat was flagged down regarding an accident just south of the area of The Boat House restaurant on the Intracoastal Waterway.
HCFR said it happened around 6:00 p.m. Sunday. One person was transported with minor injuries for evaluation.
How common are boating accidents in Myrtle Beach, SC? What are the leading causes of boating accidents?
US Coast Guard Boating Statistics
According to the US Coast Guard’s recreational boating statistics report for 2018, there were 4145 recreational boating accidents in the US – that doesn’t include commercial boating accidents and injuries…
Out of those recreational boating accidents, there were 633 deaths, 2511 injuries, and approximately $46 million of property damage.
What caused the boating fatalities?
- 77% of the accident victims drowned;
- 84% of the drowning victims were not wearing a lifejacket;
- Four out of five boaters who drowned were in a vessel less than 21 feet in length;
- 19% of the fatal boating accidents involved alcohol as the leading factor;
- 74% of the drowning deaths were on a vessel where the operator had not taken a boating safety class;
- Only 18% of the deaths were on a vessel where the operator had received a nationally-approved boating safety certificate; and
- 177 accidents involved a person hit by a propeller – including 25 deaths and 177 injuries.
What are the Top Reasons for Boating Accidents in Myrtle Beach, SC?
The top five contributing factors for the boating accidents were:
- Operator inattention;
- Failure to keep a proper lookout;
- Operator inexperience;
- Mechanical failures; and
- Excessive speed.
What are the Least Safe Boats?
The most common type of vessels involved in boating accidents were:
- Open motorboats;
- Personal watercraft; and
- Cabin motorboats.
The types of boats with the highest number of fatalities were:
- Open motorboats;
- Kayaks; and
Can I Sue After a Boating Accident?
Can you sue after a boating accident? Is it like a car wreck?
The same rules of negligence apply to boat accidents that would apply to auto accidents – boat operators have a duty to operator their watercraft in a safe manner to protect others on the waterway.
Depending on the circumstances of the boating accident, you may have a claim against:
- The driver of another boat who caused the accident;
- The driver of the boat that you were in if they negligently caused the accident;
- The owner of the boat if their negligence was the cause of the accident;
- The rental company, if the boat was rented and their negligence contributed to the accident; or
- Third-party manufacturers of the boat, boat engine, or other equipment that caused the accident.
In some cases, you may be able to collect damages from multiple sources including your insurance policy and the insurance policies of the boat owner, rental company, or other boat operators.
Your Myrtle Beach boating accident attorney at Axelrod and Associates will investigate the accident and help you to get compensation from the negligent party or their insurance company, whether that means a settlement or a jury trial.
Schedule a free consultation with a Myrtle Beach personal injury lawyer on the Axelrod team today. Call us at (843) 916-9300 or fill out our contact form to set up a free initial consultation about your case.