Lake Fontana and Lake Hiwassee Boating Accidents Kill Two

There were two unfortunate and deadly boating accidents in Western North Carolina that act as a tragic reminder of the beginning of boating season and the importance of boating safety!

According to the Citizen-Times, boating experts would like to take this time to remind all boaters to wear a life vest during every trip on the water. One simple safety precaution can help to save your life and the lives of your passengers in the event of a boating accident. Be prepared, have a plan and keep life jackets around.
The boating accident on Lake Hiwassee happened when the boat capsized. There were only two people on the boat when it flipped. The boat didn’t sink, but when one of the boaters tried to swim to shore, she failed. The other boating accident happened on Fontana Lake. That boat capsized as well. Two of the boaters were able to be rescued. One wasn’t so lucky.

According to a spokesman for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s law enforcement division, Geoff Cantrell, neither of the boaters who drowned in the accidents was wearing a life jacket when the boats capsized.

Our North Carolina boating accident lawyers understand that safety should be everyone’s first priority on the water this season! Swimming ashore from a capsized boat is a lot tougher than you think.

“Accidents happen quickly on the water, and having a life jacket on can save valuable time,” said Cantrell.

Across the state, there are roughly 20 fatal downing accidents that happen every year. Most of these accidents involve drownings.

According to national statistics, nearly 80 percent of all fatal boating accidents involve drowning boaters. Of these drownings, nearly 90 percent were not wearing life vests.

It’s not just boaters that need to wear their life jacket either. It’s also the kayak and canoe riders that need to wear a life jacket, too. Sounds silly, but jackets can save lives, regardless of vessel.

It’s like going out without a helmet. If you’re riding a bicycle or a motorcycle on our roadways, your risks for brain injury in the event of an accident skyrocket if you’re not wearing a helmet. It’s the same thing on the water, except with a life jacket. Any boating expert will tell you, it doesn’t matter how good of a swimmer you are, everyone needs a life jacket.

According to state law, both teens and adults are required to have life jackets readily accessible for each passenger on a boat. That includes kayaks, canoes and motorboats. Boaters who are under the age of 13 are required to wear a vest at all times. Someone operating a personal watercraft, regardless of how old, is required to wear a life jacket at all times.

If you, a friend or someone in your family has been seriously or fatally injured in a boating accident in the Carolinas, contact the Asheville boat accident attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. to schedule a free and confidential appointment. Call 1-800-887-1965 today.

Additional Resources:

Recent drownings prompt water safety tips, by Sabian Warren, Citizen-Times
More Blog Entries:

Lake Norman Boaters at Risk for Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 11, 2011

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