Boating is one of the most common summer activities in and around Virginia (VA). Friends and family get together to enjoy the summer weather and this is never more evident than on the July Fourth holiday. Unfortunately, when boating activities increase in VA waters, so do the number of boating accidents. In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard reports that July has the highest number of boat wrecks and accidents compared to the rest of the year. Over the 2010 July Fourth weekend in VA, two boat accidents resulted in serious injuries and a tragic loss of life.

A 25-foot watercraft slammed into a piling in the Rappahannock River near Water View, VA leading to 11 serious injuries and one missing woman, according to Coast Guard News. The operator of the vessel and an 11-year-old boy got hurt so bad they were placed in critical condition when rushed to the hospital, according to the Daily Press.

The other boat accident involved a 20-foot Bayliner where a 7-year-old boy was allowed to steer the boat causing the vessel to enter a narrow pier. Upon entrance to the pier, the boy’s mother was hit by the pier and thrown face-first into the boat’s windshield. She died due to the severity of her injuries.

These terrible accidents highlight the risks associated with boating. A momentary lapse of judgment or sudden collision with something in the water can have life-altering consequences.