SC Lawyer Offers Safety Tips for Boating Season

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Increase in boating activity also means more accidents and injuries, says South Carolina lawyer Bert Louthian.

We're entering the peak boating season, when the majority of boating accidents occur.

Summertime means that thousands of South Carolinians will be getting out their boats and jet skis to enjoy the state's abundant recreational lakes and coastal waters.

But that increase in boating activity also means more accidents involving watercraft, a South Carolina lawyer cautions.

"Enjoy the water, but keep safety in mind," says Bert Louthian of the Louthian Law Firm, P.A. in Columbia, S.C. "We're entering the peak boating season, when the majority of boating accidents occur."

In 2007, 16 people died in boating accidents in South Carolina, according to the latest statistics available from the U.S. Coast Guard. Another 52 people suffered injuries. Boating accidents were up nearly 12 percent from the previous year.

South Carolina ranks eighth in the nation in recreational boats, with more than 442,000 watercraft registered--second in the Southeast behind Florida.

The most frequent types of boating accidents nationwide involve collisions with other boats or fixed objects, the Coast Guard reports. Skier mishaps are also common boating injuries.

Over two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drowned in 2007 -- and 90 percent of those victims were not wearing a life jacket, according to the Coast Guard.

"When you get in a boat, don't leave your common sense at the dock," Louthian said. "Always wear life jackets aboard a boat. Life jackets can't save your life unless you're wearing one."

Other safety tips include:

  • Always test your boat lights, check the fuel before the vessel leaves the dock and carry extra batteries.
  • Check the weather.
  • Always carry a floating pouch map, flares, and a first aid kit.
  • Make sure the boat has an anchor and you can properly use it. Improper anchoring may cause fatal accidents.
  • Don't operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Let someone know where you are going, and carry a cell phone if possible.

About The Louthian Law Firm

The Louthian Law Firm, P.A., of Columbia, South Carolina, has been obtaining fair compensation for S.C. accident victims since 1959. The firm was founded by Herbert Louthian, who has more than 40 years of trial experience and is licensed to practice in all courts in South Carolina. The Louthian Law Firm focuses on personal injury cases involving boat, car, truck and motorcycle accidents, medical malpractice and other serious and catastrophic injuries throughout South Carolina. For a confidential case evaluation, contact the firm by phone at (866) 410-5656 or visit the firm's website at


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