Channel 4 is reporting that Florida Fish and Wildlife officers are investigating an accident involving two personal watercraft. Wildlife officials said the accident happened around 11 a.m. Sunday on the Indian River in Grant. Officials said, for unknown reasons, two personal watercraft collided in the water. Officials said one man was brought back to the shore while other boaters attempted to help him. The man, who is not being named at this time, was taken to Palm Bay Hospital where he later died, officials said. Officials said they are continuing to talk to all parties involved and there were no other injuries.
While there are many reasons for a boating accident to occur, the most common causes are due to operator inattentiveness, alcohol/drug use and excessive speed. Moreover, under Florida law, there are several rules and regulations which have been enacted in order to reduce the number of waterway accidents. Boaters are reminded that when operating a vessel in a speed zone which is posted as an Idle Speed-No Wake zone, the operator must operate at the minimum posted speed and when traveling on a œSlow Down-Minimum Wake speed zone, operators must operate fully off plane and completely settled in water. In addition, the vessel’s wake must not be of the kind to create an excessive or a hazard to other vessels.
We recognize that activities like boating can be a fun and relaxing recreational experience and that there are hundreds of individuals each year who engage in this activity. However, if you are considering participating in the sport, it is best to become informed about the rules and regulations of the waterways, including any safety and educational requirements. Statistics indicate that boaters who take a boating safety course are less likely to be involved in a boating accident. Boaters can learn what laws may be applicable to their situation by contacting the either the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.