Jet Skis / Personal Watercraft (PWC), Paddle Board (SUP) and Kayak Accidents
The beautiful state of Maryland offers endless opportunities for water sport enthusiasts to get out on the water and have some fun. However, our ocean, bay rivers and creeks can also be very dangerous and, unfortunately, accidents involving PWCs, paddle boards and kayaks can and do happen. Victims and their loved ones may be left dealing with sky-high medical costs or even funeral and burial expenses.
At Joel L. Katz, L.L.C., we understand deeply how much injuries and fatalities can cost, both financially and emotionally. That is why we advocate strongly on behalf of our clients to get them the full compensation to which they are entitled. Talk to attorneys who are fellow boaters and understand and will fight for your rights after a jet-ski, kayak and paddle board accident about your right to recover.The Popularity of PWCs, Paddle Boards and Kayaks
Personal Watercrafts (PWC) afford people an inexpensive way to explore. With their fast speeds, maneuverability and ability to be operated in shallow water, PWC afford people a relatively inexpensive means to enjoy the water. Unfortunately, these attributes make PWCs prone to accidents. According to BoatUs, 70% of PWC collisions are with another vessel.
Famous people are not immune to injury or death arising from PWC accidents. Former astronaut Alan G. Poindexter lost his life in PWC accident, Rapper Sean Kingston almost died in PWC accident, Metallica’s lead singer James Heftfield was injured in a PWC accident and Gloria Estefan was on a boat that hit a PWC.
Even though PWC may seem more like a motorcycle than a boat, they are still considered vessels under Coast Guard regulations and maritime rules apply. As such, it is critical that you obtain legal counsel if you have been involved in PWC accident, and with our expansive boating experience, Joel L. Katz, L.L.C. can help you navigate these waters.
Stand up paddle (SUP) boarding is exploding in popularity. SUPs are similar to surfboards but are normally longer and wider and are propelled by either a paddler or arm power (also called prone or kneeling paddleboarding). Paddleboarding combines the balance elements of surfing with the paddling and rowing involved with small boats.
Kayaking is also very popular on the Chesapeake Bay and tributaries. A kayak is a narrow vessel with seats for one or two people who use paddles to propel the craft. In addition to touring our beautiful river and creeks, fishing from kayaks is very popular but can be very dangerous when larger vessels fail to keep proper watch. Even when safety precautions are taken, accidents can still occur.
The Coast Guard has published some of the following tips for paddlebards but it also applies to kayakers and all small vessel operation:
- Wear a lifejacket and carry a whistle.
- Be a competent swimmer.
- Know how to self rescue.
- Know how to tow another board.
- Know the local regulations and navigation rules.
- Understand the elements and hazards – winds, tidal ranges, current, terrain and the effects of water temperatures on an immersed body.
- Equip your board with a leash and use it.
- Be defensive – don’t go where you aren’t supposed to be and avoid other swimmers, boaters, paddleboards.
- Carry your phone in a waterproof housing or bag or bring a VHF radio should the need to contact help arise.
- Take a safe boating course to learn the rules of the road.
Paddle boarders and kayakers must share the water with bigger vessels. Even though paddleboard and kayaks are relatively small, the Coast Guard still considers them vessels and entitled to the same rights and responsibilities as larger vessels. If another person’s negligence led to you or a loved one being injured while participating in a water sport, he or she should be held accountable.
After an accident, medical attention should be sought immediately and the proper authorities should be notified including the Coast Guard and Natural Resource Police. Contacting an attorney who has experience dealing with accidents and insurance companies can help you to protect your rights.We Look Out for Your Interests
Make sure you know your rights and options following a paddle board or kayak accident. To schedule a free consultation with an Annapolis lawyer, please send us an email or call us at (800) 966-5333.