Navigating Troubled Waters: The Dangers of Recreational Boating Across New York

Navigating Troubled Waters: The Dangers of Recreational Boating Across New York
Calendar icon August 22, 2023

Despite great strides in boating safety, such as the establishment of new boater education requirements, stricter safety standards for boat manufacturers, and tougher penalties for drunk operators, New York loses about two dozen people each year in recreational boating accidents.

The overwhelming majority of the 438,974 boats registered in New York are used for recreational purposes. Boaters are more likely to be infrequent or amateur operators than commercial boaters, which can increase the risk of a boating accident.

Recreational boating dangers in New York

That said, experienced recreational boaters can overestimate their abilities and underestimate the risks associated with being out on the water. In either case, a New York boating accident can result in serious injury or fatality for the operator, their passengers, and other boaters.

At Cellino Law, our team of personal injury lawyers can work to help you recover compensation if you sustained a boating accident injury due to another party’s negligence. To schedule a free case evaluation with a boating accident lawyer, call us at (888) 888-8888 or use our online form.

New York Boaters Should Account for the Weather Before Their Trip

To reduce the risk of injury, boaters need to be prepared for the weather conditions. In cases of extreme heat, it’s easier to get dehydrated or develop heat stroke, which can be mitigated by bringing sufficient water and limiting direct sun exposure with hats, sunscreen, and clothing.

In cooler conditions, boaters should wear insulating clothing and always use a life jacket, as cold-water immersion has been known to have a panic-inducing and incapacitating effect. Weather can’t always be predicted, so inform someone on land of your float plan prior to going. 

Storms can develop quickly and take boaters by surprise, leaving them to navigate choppy waters in low visibility conditions with inadequate supplies. If a storm is approaching, it is better to be overly cautious rather than risk capsizing, colliding with another vessel, or being tossed. 

Reduce the Risk of a Collision by Following All Federal and New York Laws on the Water

Recreational boaters may be tempted to be more casual with certain regulations, such as speeding. Just like on land, speed limits are in place for a reason. Traveling too fast limits the time you have to react and the space you have to maneuver your vessel.

Another common violation is boating outside New York’s hours of operation. Boaters using personal watercraft can only be on the water between sunrise and sunset. Otherwise, it is illegal. Additionally, limited nighttime visibility considerably increases the risk of a boating accident.

Failure to Maintain Your Boat and Fix Foreseeable Issues Can Result in Injury

Operators are responsible for keeping their vessels in working order to reduce the risk of collision, electrocution, fire, or other harm. For example, boaters must have a fire extinguisher in case of emergencies and replace expired extinguishers based on Coast Guard regulations. 

If you are on the water and experience a mechanical failure, that could interfere with your ability to return to shore or seek aid in an emergency. Mechanical issues, such as a steering wheel that sticks, can also prevent boaters from avoiding collision with a fixed object or vessel.

Most vessels must also be equipped with features like lights. Proper lighting alerts boaters to your presence, illuminates hazards and helps you navigate. Inadequate lighting makes it difficult to see other boats, rescue capsized passengers, or avoid marine life and submerged objects.

Safety Gear is Essential to Preventing Injury in New York Boating Accidents

Before exploring New York by boat, ensure that you have properly fitted life jackets for everyone on board. Even in a familiar body of water or mild conditions, a life jacket is still necessary.  For example, a boater could easily slip, hit their head, and fall overboard while incapacitated.

Lifejackets are key to reducing deaths by drowning, which is the leading cause of boating accident fatalities in New York. New York’s Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Division says in 2022 boating accidents, 75% of all drowning victims didn’t have a lifejacket on. 

Alcohol is Often a Factor in New York Boating Accidents

The use of alcohol and drugs contributed to over 20% of fatalities in New York boating accidents between 2005 and 2022, claiming at least 7 lives in 2022 alone. Substances like these impair an operator’s ability to clearly see, make safe judgments, and slow their physical reaction times.

New York law requires that boaters maintain a BAC of less than 0.08 when operating a watercraft. If you are caught operating impaired, you risk having to pay steep fines, getting your boating license suspended, and even doing jail time. 

Passengers should also consume responsibly to avoid falling into the water, slipping and falling on deck, or being unable to help the operator in the event of an emergency. If the person operating as the lookout is intoxicated, that can also lead to critical information being missed.

Choose Cellino Law to Negotiate Your New York Boating Accident Claim

After reporting your boating accident to the authorities and seeking medical attention, it’s in your best interest to hire a personal injury lawyer. Negligent boaters put their passengers and other boaters at risk, and our team at Cellino Law has decades of practice holding them accountable.  

We have a long history of settling personal injury lawsuits for injured New Yorkers. Our team of negotiators are known for our strong work ethic, unshakeable integrity, and wealth of legal knowledge. Clients trust us to maximize their compensation so they can focus on their recovery.

Contact Cellino Law About Your New York Boating Accident Lawsuit Today

Whether you are taking your family out for a day on Lake George, going fishing on Lake Champlain, or celebrating with a friend on the coast, it is important to be cognizant of the risks of irresponsible operation that can lead to a serious or even fatal boating accident.

If you have been injured as a consequence of another boater’s recklessness, the personal injury attorneys of Cellino Law can help you seek compensation for your damages. We understand that your injuries likely created medical bills, disrupted your income, and led to additional stress.

Our team of accomplished New York boating accident lawyers will advocate for a fair settlement on your behalf. Call us at (888) 888-8888 or reach out through our online form to schedule a free consultation with a Cellino Law boating accident attorney.

Zoom Screenshot_16.png

Content checked by the personal injury attorney Ross Cellino. As a family man and a trial attorney, I pride myself on winning cases and serving the community. With over 35 years of experience, I understand the function of a jury, how juries arrive at conclusions, and the role that the jury plays in administering justice. I know how to win cases. You can find us in Manhattan, Buffalo, Melville, Rochester, Brooklyn, The Bronx, Queens and other locations throughout New York.

INJURED?
WE CAN HELP

CALL US NOW

Free Case Review

BLOGS ARCHIVE

FREE CASE REVIEW

Testimonials

  • I am writing this letter to say how much I appreciate your services pertaining to my case. Your injury attorney took a hands-on approach and left me fully informed at all times as to where my case was going as well as how much ground we had to cover; leaving the final decisions in my hands but making sure that I knew all of the risks involved in the choices. I have dealt with a few law firms in my life on various different cases and this is the first time that I never had to call and/or track down my lawyer… because of this, I have and will continue to recommend Cellino Law to my friends and associates.

    Denise

  • We'd like to thank you for all the assistance and time you spent on our case. Your professionalism and honesty will always be appreciated. The staff was always courteous and we were always impressed with your accountability. Your passion and dedication will never be forgotten, nor will you.

    Sarah

  • I really just wanted to say thank you so much for taking my case, answering all my questions, and mostly for being very patient with me. I feel that without you and Roza I would not have been able to get anything at all. I hope to never need a lawyer again, but if I do I will definitely want you both working for me. Again thank your for you hard work, time and patience.

    Veola

  • I am writing to let you know what an outstanding job George Gridelli did for me in my personal injury lawsuit. His professionalism and expertise were evident at our first metting and he and his paralegal Diane D'Andrea took care of me as if I was a friend and not merely a client. They both went above and beyond for me in so many ways that it would be too numerous to list and I am grateful to have had such an exemplary team represent me. When working with George and watching him in court he personified to me what a lawyer is supposed to be - an honest, extremely compentent man who helped guide me through the legal system. I could not have obtained better representation anywhere else at any price. To me that says a lot abut you and your firm's integrity. Thank you again for representing me and for having such stellar individuals working for you! I will continue to recommend your firm.

    Carol

  • Cellino Law and more specifically my attorney, Gregory V. Pajak, Managing Attorney, and as a whole the Cellino Law Firm and its organization. This is by far one of the most professional law firms and attorney I have ever engaged with and retained in my 35 years. The level of professionalism goes beyond words, the care and constant engagement with me as the client was touching. I was never ever just treated as simply a CASE with potentially a significant dollar number attached to my file. I was engaged regularly, Tracey (Ass’t) and Greg always made sure to remain constant, as well as consistent in overseeing that my case was handled properly and that it did matter in many ways - ensuring that the end result(s) would be fair and reasonable to my case/injury. The regular follow-up calls were very satisfying, knowing that you’re involved in your case matters significantly AND always. One of my main items to recognize Cellino Law and Gregory is that whenever I called, I was able to get through to speak directly to my Lawyer and he would answer any if not all of my questions in a very professional and genuinely caring manner. I always felt cared for and protected legally and more importantly, I was made feel as a human being that was being cared for and always keeping me abreast of all matters connected to the case. There was never a point I felt let down, on the contrary -the level of service was “STELLAR”. Greg is the consummate professional, a ‘role model’, if you will, for what other attorneys should strive to become when dealing with their clients.

    Anthony

  • We want to send a big "Thank you" from the both of us. We know you both fought for us and did a great job with our case. You did it in a timely manner and we appreciate it.

    Kerrijo & Jerry