available in: English

From cruise ships to fishing boats, the waters surrounding Dallas are full of options for residents and vacationers. Dallas attracts not only those who enjoy boating and related activities on the water but also, more recently, those who investigate maritime accidents.

In January, Texas Parks and Wildlife hosted the first Comprehensive Boat Accident Investigation course of 2014. Offered to law enforcement professionals by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrations (NASBLA), the courses are organized several times each year throughout the United States.

Just as thorough investigations follow serious or fatal highway accidents, maritime accidents also require an examination into their circumstances and analysis by those with specialized knowledge. The course in January, offered in Waco, Texas, drew state and federal agency officials from across the country.

Accidents on the water are often serious. In 2012, Texas boating accidents claimed 32 lives in 162 boating accidents. In its annual report on recreational boating accidents, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) lists the following top contributing factors of fatal boating accidents:

  1. Operator inattention
  2. Lack of training or operator inexperience
  3. Improper lookout
  4. Failure of equipment
  5. Excessive speed
  6. Violation of navigation rules
  7. Alcohol use by operator or passengers
  8. Force of water, wave or wake
  9. Weather
  10. Hazardous water or conditions

In 2012, the leading types of fatal accidents included collision with another boat, swamping, collision with an object, grounding and accidents involving water skiers. Thorough investigation boating accidents yield valuable information for avoiding future accidents and offers an opinion on negligence that caused the accident.

Commercial and recreational boating is an important but dangerous industry. An accurate accident investigation is critical. Consult a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer to learn more about boating and negligence.