The Fourth of July is a day of celebration with family and friends. Traditional activities on this special day add a tinge of danger, requiring individuals to be responsible and exercise safe conduct. According to an article in The Palm Beach Post, the July Fourth holiday is traditionally one of the busiest boating days of the year. Our Palm Beach personal injury lawyer recognizes that times of celebration such as Independence Day create an atmosphere of relaxation and leisure, which often causes individuals to display a lack of common sense and to be careless in their behavior. It is not unusual for Palm Beach County boaters to exude carelessness during this particular holiday celebration. It is likely that the agencies policing the water will find many boaters who overload their vessels, drive them after drinking, fail to have enough life jackets of the correct size for each person on board, or operate their boats recklessly.
In anticipation of reckless behavior of Fourth of July boaters, law enforcement agencies, such as the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the U.S. Coast Guard, will be working extended shifts on this holiday. These authorities will be specifically watching for signs of underage drinking, boating under the influence, and safety equipment violations. Lieutenant Atwell Pride of the FWC stated, “We’re going out there with the expectation that it’s going to be busy, and we’re going to patrol accordingly.”
In addition to boating under the influence and safety equipment violations, holiday boaters should be cognizant of other dangerous hazards. Will Beck, owner of Sea Tow Services of the Palm Beaches, has observed from years past that Fourth of July boaters have a tendency to be social on the water and tie boats together to watch the fireworks. According to Beck, the danger to this is that a single anchor used by the host boat may not hold the weight of the other boats that are tied up, causing the raft of boats to disengage from each other and drift and collide with other boats on the water. This can cause severe injury to individuals and damage to the boats.
Further, holiday boaters need to be aware of the heavy traffic on the water and be considerate of fellow boaters. The end of the night usually calls for the most congestion when everyone is looking to leave the venue after the fireworks have ended. Authorities request that boaters be patient and exit in a safe manner so as not to cause any unwanted collisions.
In appreciation of these hazards on this holiday, law enforcement agencies on the water are making strong efforts in curtailing the occurrence of unwanted accidents. The Jupiter Police Department will be working with other law enforcement agencies on the waterways in downtown West Palm Beach to maintain a safe environment for the holiday crowd. They plan to strictly enforce boating laws and to confiscate illegal fireworks.
Clearly, the city is making strides in its mission to maintain safety on the waterways on this special day of celebration. We are hopeful that authorities will be successful in its endeavors to decrease incidents of boating accidents resulting from reckless behavior. However, in the event that you or a loved one are the victim of a boating accident or any other accident causing serious personal injuries, please seek the help of a Palm Beach personal injury lawyer in order to protect your legal rights.