Kayak, Canoe, and Standup Paddleboarding accidents happen all too frequently in South Florida. With its abundance of lakes, rivers, bays, intercostal waterways, and inlets, accidents such as drowning, falls overboard and capsizing occur. There are many reasons kayak and standup paddleboarding accidents occur operator inexperience, failure to navigate the vessel in a safe manner, improperly maintained or defective paddle sports equipment and negligence on the operator’s part. Whether your kayak or standup paddleboarding accident happened in Boca Raton, Lake Worth, the Florida Everglades, or in Broward’s New River, you should contact an experienced attorney to help get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Kayaking has become increasingly popular among paddle sports. Ocean Kayak Fishing is one aspect of kayaking that has seen an increase in popularity, especially in South Florida. According to KayakFish Magazine’s survey, the Southeast accounts for 25 percent of all ocean kayaking. With South Florida already being a mecca for boating and fishing, it’s no wonder that this sport’s popularity has soared. However, kayaks rank the 4th highest in casualty numbers by vessel type according to the U.S. Coast Guard. In 2014, kayak accidents claimed 256 deaths and 123 injuries (USCG).
Standup Paddleboarding Accidents
Standup Paddleboarding has also seen a rise in popularity. Described as a mix of surfing and kayaking, participants can stand on a board specifically designed for balancing and propel themselves through the water using a paddle. In a 2013 report by Outdoor Foundation, standup paddleboarding was the most popular outdoor activity for first-time participants. 56 percent of all new participants in outdoor activities tried standup paddleboarding during 2012.
While these paddle sports are fun and relatively safe, they have the potential to be dangerous and result in serious injury or death if common-sense safety rules are not followed or if unexpected conditions arise.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the top contributing factors to kayak accidents are:
- Operator inexperience
- Improper loading
- Improper lookout or guide
- Hazardous waters
- Alcohol and/or drug use
According to a 2013 report by Boaterexam.com, the top causes of death in paddlesports are:
- Falls Overboard
- Collision with Fixed Object
This is especially dangerous when you look at the statistics on how many new people are trying these sports. Additionally renting kayaks and standup paddleboards from rental agencies along the beach, lakes, and rivers or taking guided tours can lead to serious injuries due to negligence. Knowing how to operate and what to do if an emergency arises is crucial when renting these items for recreational use. Many times, rental agencies rely on a liability release form that releases them from any potential injury or accident. However, these release forms are not meant to protect them from gross acts of negligence.
Contact Us Today For A Consultation
If you were involved in a kayak or standup paddleboard accident, you could be compensated for your injuries. Zimmerman & Frachtman attorneys are experienced in all aspects of maritime and liability law. While each case is different, claims involving these accidents can result in:
- Damages covering pain and suffering
- Compensation for medical bills
- Recoup lost wages
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