With the arrival of summer, many people in Fort Walton Beach and other cities in Florida will be heading out to spend time on their boats. Unfortunately, severe personal injury and even deaths occur each year when boating accidents follow incidents that might be regarded as mundane. Safety authorities say avoiding these events can prevent accidents on the water.

Although running out of gas might seem a minor problem or even amusing, it can lead to dire situations if, for example, it happens far out in the Gulf Stream. Another seemingly insignificant accident involves running aground. Alcohol is often said to be a factor in these incidents, and so is speed. Careful consideration is necessary before pulling the boat back into the water because the bilge can be flooded if the hull is cracked, which might cause the vessel to sink.

All occupants of a boat should wear life jackets to keep them afloat if they should fall overboard, and all the necessary safety gear must be present on the boat. Fire is a life-threatening hazard that could be caused by fuel spills or leaks. Boaters must ensure they have fire extinguishers aboard that are charged and inspected — for electrical and fuel fires. Speeding on the water at night could be very dangerous, and often leads to tragedies.

Victims of boating accidents that were caused by negligence might be entitled to pursue financial relief through the Florida civil justice system. This could involve the operator of another boat or the negligence of the person operating the vessel on which the injured victim was a passenger. An experienced personal injury attorney can help to establish negligence document the economic and noneconomic damages to present to the court.