Minnesota Boating Accidents Up From Last Year

There is one boat for every six people here in the land of 10,000 lakes, and with summer finally in full swing, Minnesota boaters have been busy making up for lost time. Unfortunately, despite a slow start to the boating season this year, the number of Minnesota boating fatalities appears to be on the rise from 2010.

Five people have died and several more have been injured in recent boating accidents in Minnesota. In late May, a 29-year-old man drowned in St. Louis County after the boat he was riding in sank in Lake Vermilion. Authorities say the boat was overloaded and was not carrying enough life vests for all seven people on board.

Earlier the same month, a 27-year-old woman and a 30-year-old man died in a dramatic wreck on Lake Victoria, near Alexandria. Six people were on board the boat when the driver lost control and the boat struck a series of docks and boat lifts, becoming airborne and ultimately coming to rest among some trees.

In addition to fatal boating accidents, several other serious boating accidents have occurred in recent weeks. This appears to signal a disappointing relapse in Minnesota water safety, after 2010 had proven to be far below average in terms of boating injuries and deaths.

Still, boating safety has been improving overall in Minnesota during recent years, largely due to increased enforcement of state laws that prohibit boating while intoxicated. While alcohol used to be a factor in about one half of all boating fatalities, that number has dropped to about 30 percent. According to a study by the U.S. Coast Guard, boaters who are legally intoxicated are 10 times more likely to be involved in fatal accidents than those who are sober.

If You Are Involved in a Boating Accident

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a boat accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to bring a personal injury claim. Contact a Minnesota boating accident attorney near you to discuss your potential claim.