The Sunshine State draws tourists and locals alike to the water for rest and recreation every day. With so many beautiful beaches and waterways to choose from, there is something for everyone. Many beach-goers take advantage of the countless options for watercraft rentals up and down the coast.
Perhaps due to its more compact design, water recreationists tend to view personal watercraft (PWC) vessels like WaveRunners or Jet Skis as a safer rental option for novices versus a boat. They assume that just because they are smaller, they might be similar to renting a bicycle for the water. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
Risk for injury is high in PWC collisions
Since they have powerful engines and can be a bit temperamental in their handling, a PWC is better suited for riders who have training and experience as well as familiarity with the Coast Guard’s navigational rules. Still, these vessels are often rented to people with little to no boater experience or water safety education.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the collision rate of personal watercraft is higher than any other type of boat. In fact, roughly 36% of all boating injuries occur on PWCs. Oftentimes, these accidents happen because the operator isn’t paying attention and strikes another boat, PWC or stationary object. Driving too fast or losing control while turning or wake jumping can also be causes of PWC accidents.
Injuries from personal watercraft can range from broken limbs, concussions, burns, blunt-force trauma, spinal injuries and even death. If you sustain injuries due to someone’s negligent or reckless operation of a personal watercraft, you may have grounds to pursue compensation for your medical care, ongoing treatment, emotional damages and missed time from work.