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Local Forces Spring into Action off Miami Beach Coast


Boating Mishap leads to Search and Rescue Operation off Miami Beach Coast.

By: Perazzo Law – Serving Boating Accident Victims in Miami

Friday Night: A search and rescue operation got underway when a man was able to swim to shore after the boat he was on began to sink. The Coast Guard, the Miami Fire Department, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, and Miami-Dade Police responded to the distress call quickly after it came in a little after 10 p.m. Apparently, the boat the men were sailing in sprung a leak, and three men had to abandon ship. One of the men was able to make it back to shore while the other two were set adrift along the ocean current. Fortunately, the Coast Guard was able to locate and rescue one of the two men in Biscayne Bay, while the other man was rescued by the Miami Fire Rescue Unit after spending an hour in the water. The latter experienced cardiac arrest but is reported to be in good condition despite his life-threatening ordeal at sea. Both men suffered no serious injuries and were taken to hospital for examination. The cause of the accident remains to be determined. According to official statistic reports, there were 2,629 boating accident related injuries in the USA in 2017, with 658 reported fatalities. Miami boating mishaps may usually involve inexperienced boat operators at the helm while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. First and foremost, boaters or anyone on a boat, must know that lifejackets save lives. Sadly, 80% of boat related fatalities are the result of drowning; lifejackets prevent people from drowning. Sailing at night requires special added care. Inexperienced boaters have the misconception that spotlights work just like headlights at night. However, headlights are practically useless at sea cause boats may approach another vessel from any direction as boating is a three dimensional navigational activity. Furthermore, headlights create shadows that can disorient those at the helm, and boats can’t just hit the brakes either. It takes a lot more time to stop a boat or quickly swerve to dodge a boat that appears out of the blue over a breaking wave.   

Boating accidents off the Miami shores are no freak occurrences, as Florida waterways tend to become overcrowded. According to published reports, more than 87 million American adults take part in recreational activities that include boats, either for recreational fishing, smooth sailing, or radical racing. By early 2018, there were almost 12 million registered boats pertaining to the different category of vessels in the USA.  According to official statistic reports, there were 2,629 boating accident related injuries in the USA in 2017, with 658 reported fatalities. Miami boating mishaps may usually involve inexperienced operators, steering their boat while under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.  

Perazzo Law Shares Some Basic Boating Laws

Florida law requires individuals under the age of 21 must have a valid boating safety ID card to operate a boat with 10 or more horsepower, as well as a valid ID card and a photo ID issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

  • All water vessels that operate using mechanical propulsion devices such as: fuel or electric powered outboards) must be registered.
  • Individuals that operate a vessel with negligent disregard for the safety of persons or property are liable for personal injury and or losses to victims.
  • Individuals are obliged by law to respect the safe navigation of other vessels and steer clear of established fishing areas.
  • Boat operators may not amoor or attach a vessel to a buoy (other than a mooring buoy), beacon, light, or any other navigational aid placed on public waters by proper authorities.
  • Boat operators must prevent personal injury incidents by not allowing passengers to ride on the bow, gunwale, transom, seat backs, seats on raised decks, or any other part of the vessel where a passenger can fall overboard.
  • The use of Life jackets is mandatory for children under 6 years of age (USCG-approved Type I, II or III personal flotation device) at all times while on a vessel under 26 feet in length. Additionally, all those aboard a PWC or being towed must wear a USCG-approved PFD. Sadly, 80% of boat related fatalities re a result of drowning; lifejackets prevent people from drowning.
  • There are strict laws for operating a water vessels under the influence of alcohol. A vessel operator is presumed to be under the influence if their blood or breath alcohol level is at or above .08.

If you, a family member, or loved one has suffered personal injury as a result of a boating accident or incident involving a water vessel, the Perazzo Law Firm urges you to contact our Miami or North Miami Beach offices ONLINE or Call (786) LAWS-411 to find out if you have a legitimate claim for compensation from a boating accident. 


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