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L. Morgan Martin, p.A.
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Is using smaller boats while vacationing in Myrtle Beach safe?

Myrtle Beach is unlike any other coastal area on the east coast. Every year, countless golfers, convention goers, spring breakers and other tourists flock from all around the country to the area looking to have a good time. 

Many visitors will rent a small boat or bring their own, looking to enjoy some time fishing, sunbathing or partying, not realizing the dangers tied to their water vessels. Small boats are often involved in fatal accidents compared to larger ones. There are a few reasons why that’s the case. 

What about small boats makes them unsafe?

The U.S. Army authored a study on recreational boat safety a few years ago. The researchers discovered that of all boating fatalities that occur in the U.S. annually, at least 80% of them involve boats that measure less than 26 feet long. Study researchers delved a bit deeper into why that’s the case and determined that it has a lot to do with skipper inexperience and their failure to take boat safety precautions. 

This above-referenced insight aligned with a previous report published by the U.S. Coastguard in 2019. The authors of the latter report had previously determined that skippers’ reckless boating, and more specifically speeding, often led to small boat occupant fatalities. Boating under the influence was another contributing factor. Another issue with smaller boats is that their skippers tend to overload them. Capsizing is a real danger in such instances, especially in choppy waters. 

Other research shows that small boat occupants are more likely to lose their lives due to waterlogging or capsizing than other boaters. Smaller boats generally don’t have freeboards, which is the portion of the vessel that runs between the main deck and the waterline. This leaves them vulnerable to having the waves overcome them, filling them up with water. The control panels may no longer function as they become waterlogged, and the boat may begin sinking without any proper water pump in place. 

What to do if you were injured in a boating accident

Boat goers are just like car crash victims in that they have rights if they suffer injuries in an accident. Injuries can be costly to treat, and it’s important not to let responsible parties get out of their obligation to make amends for their indiscretions. 

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