In all 14 fatalities were reported on Virginia during 2010, down from 27 in the previous year. Across the country, the total number of fatalities fell to 672, which was a record low. The Virginia figure was the lowest in five years.
Boaters who had taken a boating safety course were less likely to be involved in an accident, according to the Coast Guard. Almost 75 percent of all fatal boating accident victims drowned and about 90 percent of them weren't wearing life jackets.
See this Coast Guard safety video.
As experienced Virginia boating accident injury attorneys we welcome these figures. But it remains to be seen if 2011 will prove to be such a safe season on the waterways of Hampton Roads. Recently the Daily Press reported on a spate of boating accidents and other drownings on our waterways including at Virginia Beach and on the James River. In May a boat capsized in the James River at Newport News, VA, sending 10 people into the water. The accident claimed the lives of two NASA research assistants.
Now summer's here far more people are getting out to the waterways of Southeastern Virginia since Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Hampton, and Newport News all have extensive waterfront on the Chesapeake Bay, the James River and the Lynnhaven River. Even in the poor financial climate, locals and tourists love to spend hot summer days out on their boats, Jet Skis, skiffs, yachts and ever other marine craft imaginable.
Knowledge of basic boating rules and compliance with standards on safety such as always having lifejackets onboard can be a critical step in accident prevention. Alcohol plays a part in many accidents on the water. Our VA boating accident injury attorneys recently noted how the rules of drunken boating have been tightened up in Virginia.