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South Carolina Boating Accidents



With almost 450,000 recreational boats registered in South Carolina in 2011, it is inevitable a few will be involved in an accident, some serious. That year, the state had 93 boating accidents, 17 of them fatal, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. As a boater, it is important to understand boating accidents and how to respond to one.

Types of Boating Accidents

You may think of a collision when you think of an accident. But that is only one type of possible mishap that can happen on the water. In fact, collisions are categorized based on what you hit:

  • Another vessel (the most common kind)
  • A fixed object
  • A floating object
  • An object under the water

But collisions are not the most dangerous type of accident. All the collision types combined caused fewer deaths in 2011 than either falling overboard or capsizing. Flooding and swamping caused more deaths than any one type of collision.

Boating laws cover all these incidents and dozens more. If you've been involved in an accident on the water, you must follow those laws. A boating accident lawyer can advise you.

Operator Responsibilities After a Boat Accident

South Carolina law requires operators to stay at the scene and help anyone who needs it. Not doing so is a crime, and you may be fined or jailed, depending on the severity of the accident. Then you must report the accident if:

  • Someone dies (even if death occurs later).
  • Someone needs medical attention.
  • A passenger disappears.
  • Property damage is more than $2000.

File your report with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Death, serious injury, or disappearance requires an immediate report. Other incidents may be reported within 48 hours.

Locate a Local South Carolina Boat Accident Lawyer Today

Many different laws govern boat accidents, including state, federal, and local. The laws and the true facts of the accident can be complicated and confusing. You need someone on your side to help you figure it out. Call now to speak with a boating accident attorney in South Carolina at 877-913-7222.