By Drew Copenhaver

Summer is approaching, the weather is getting warmer and conditions are ideal for recreational boating. Our South Carolina boat accident attorneys take great pleasure in navigating the waters around Charleston and Myrtle Beach. However, our attorneys have also seen a dark side of boating that cannot be ignored.

While most people had a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend, three separate boat accidents in Charleston and Berkeley Counties resulted in fatalities and serious injuries. On the evening of Friday, May 24, 2013, a man was critically injured when his boat hit three docks on the Wando River. Authorities said that an open beer bottle was discovered in his boat. On Saturday, May 25, 2013, authorities responded to two separate boat accidents on the Cooper River. The first accident involved a 57-year-old father who jumped from a moving boat and failed to re-surface. His body was recovered on Tuesday.

As authorities were investigating the first boat accident, they received word that two boats, one carrying five passengers and the other with six people on board collided with each other on the Cooper River near the Pimlico Boat Landing. SCDNR officials have reported that five people were taken to local hospitals as a result of the collision. Tragically, a popular young man who was a graduate of Goose Creek High School lost his life in this boat accident.

As the number of boaters and watercraft users increases in South Carolina’s waterways, so does the number of boating accidents. According to the Coast Guard’s 2012 Recreational Boating Statistics Report, there were 3000 injuries and 651 fatalities as a result of boating related accidents last year. Operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure and excessive speed were the top contributing factors to boating accidents. Alcohol was the top contributing factor to fatal boating accidents.

Our South Carolina personal injury lawyers at Joye Law Firm urge all boaters to keep safety in mind when enjoying a day on South Carolina’s waterways. If a loved one or you have been hurt in a South Carolina boating accident, call (888) 324-3100 or use our convenient online contact form for a free initial consultation.

About the Author

Mark Joye is the Head of the Litigation Department at the Joye Law Firm. A Board-Certified Trial Advocate with nearly 30 years of litigation experience, he currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Association for Justice and is a past president of the South Carolina Association for Justice. In a recent trial, Joye headed a trial team that secured $17 million for a family killed in a tractor-trailer accident.

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