The Most Common Boating Accident Injuries In Washington State
As warmer weather begins across Washington State, many along the Washington coast and on the state’s rivers and lakes are ready to enjoy weekends out on their boats. However, as the new boating season arrives, you should keep boating safety in mind. According to the US Coast Guard, there are an estimated 650 boating fatalities every year and 2,000 serious injuries.
Here are some of the most common boating accident injuries in Washington State:
• Lacerations and amputations. Last summer we covered the story of an Ellensburg woman who lost her lower leg in a boating accident when she was ejected from the boat and came into contact with the boat’s propeller on the Columbia River. Boat capsizing accidents in which a boater is cut on the propeller or other sharp object are quite common. • Head injuries. Last March, a young Taoma boy suffered a serious head injury when a boat collided with his kayak. When two boats collide, or when a single boat capsizes, a head injury can occur either when a boater comes into contact with a water vessel or with a rock or other object. Head injuries can be especially serious if a person is knocked unconscious and is not wearing a life vest. • Drowning. Even boaters who are skilled swimmers could drown during or after a boating accident in Washington State, especially if they are lacking the lifejackets required by law. Rough currents, swift waters, or head injuries can make swimming difficult for even the strongest swimmers. • Hypothermia. In chilly Washington waters, especially in the Atlantic, hypothermia can be a much larger danger than drowning. Even in cool waters, those who fall out of boats can start suffering from hypothermia within minutes. Just weeks ago, two men who capsized their kayak in Puget Sound suffered from hypothermia after being in the water for one hour.