One of the great benefits of operating a boat is enjoying a ride out onto Kentucky waters. However, some boaters take an unexpected detour onto solid ground. Vigilant boating operators often avoid running aground, but boaters who drink excessive alcohol while on the water or drive their boats recklessly run the risk of colliding with a shore or hitting inland, which can result in serious injury for anyone or everyone on board.
Boating Magazine explains that boaters should be alert for signs that hard ground is approaching. However, drunk boat operators can miss these signs, generally because their senses are impaired and/or because they are driving their vessels too fast on the water. Sometimes a boat only ends up on a sandbar, while in other instances a boat can slam onto the shore and end up out of the water completely.
According to the Boating article, it is not the grounding of a boat that causes injury, but the abrupt stop of the vessel. A person that is not secured in the boat can be flung into a part of the boat or even tossed overboard if the vessel is going at a high enough speed. The injuries caused by such a sudden stop or a resulting impact may be crippling, life-threatening, or serious enough to cause death.
Sometimes a boat crash does not appear serious, and it may be possible to return the vessel to water in a short period of time. Even so, a boat could have taken damage to the hull while hitting the ground. If the boat returns to the water with a leak, the vessel could fill up with water and cause it to sink. It is better to have the boat checked for hull leaks before taking it out into deep water where it could sink and subject the boat operator and passengers to further danger.
Avoiding a boat accident takes sober judgment and vigilance of what is going on around you as you drive your boat. Injuries can happen for many reasons on the water, so do not take this information as legal counsel for your situation; it is only intended for educational benefit.