Enjoying the scenery and water on a relaxing boat ride is popular here in Florida. Residents and visitors often charter a captained vessel so they can have fun without worrying about boat operations.
Most excursions end safely, with everyone having had a great time. Still, it is unwise not to consider the injury risks you may face on a fishing or recreational charter.
Captains and boat owners must comply with several mandatory regulations to run a legal charter operation that carries passengers. However, many choose to ignore these requirements and run illegal charters instead. This likely means the vessel has not undergone a Coast Guard inspection to ensure its safety.
You can ask to see the official Coast Guard-issued charter boat license and its inspection certificate before you hire the vessel. Those who possess these items can probably offer a pleasant and safe charter experience.
When watercraft is crewed by unseasoned personnel, it can increase the risks of passenger injuries. For example, those with little experience may panic or make errors during an accident or surprise weather event. Many are attracted to job opportunities allowing them to work on the water, but it generally takes experience and training to ensure passenger safety.
Do not hesitate to ask about the experience of staff members and the boat operator before you head out to sea. If the crew has no significant experience, consider looking elsewhere for a boat.
What are your options if injured?
You probably qualify for compensation for your injuries, especially if negligence is a factor. However, determining legal liability for boat accident injuries can be quite complicated. Consider obtaining guidance to help you identify those responsible for your harm.