GJEL Accident Attorneys Advises Families to Be Safe on the Water in Summer

Youths operating boats without license increased in 2009

SAN FRANCISCO – Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen (GJEL Accident Attorneys), a catastrophic injury and wrongful death law firm in the San Francisco Bay Area, advises families to exercise safety guidelines while on the water this summer.

In California, 37 operators of boating and sports vehicles under 18-years-old were involved in 2009 accidents, a 51 percent increase over 2008 figures, according to the California Department of Boating and Waterways.

“Summer is the peak season for fun, and water sports are some of the most exciting activities for families,” said Andrew Gillin, managing partner of GJEL Accident Attorneys. “While everyone is enjoying, we encourage parents to impose a few rules and responsibilities on their teens and also not to consume alcohol while on the water.”

California saw 627 water sport accidents in 2009 resulting in 398 injuries and 48 fatalities. Property owners claimed $4.4 million in damages resulting from these incidents, according to the California Department of Boating and Waterways.

GJEL Accident Attorneys suggests the following guidelines for a safe summer:

  • Before getting on the water, encourage the family to take boating safety training.
  • When operating a boat, ensure the driver is not consuming excessive amounts of alcohol or is not already impaired. Alcohol was a factor in 49 percent of boating fatalities in 2008.
  • Do not permit teens without a driver permit to operate a boat unless an adult is alongside at the wheel. Heed California’s youth operator laws; no teen under 16-years-old is permitted to operate a boat alone.
  • Always pay attention while operating a boat; it’s easy to be distracted by others on the boat.
  • Follow speed limit rules in waterways where it’s posted; use common sense on open water. When navigating crowded waterways, slow down!

About GJEL Accident Attorneys

GJEL Accident Attorneys is a San Francisco bay area law firm representing plaintiffs in catastrophic injury and wrongful death cases. Since 1972, Gillin Jacobson Ellis & Larsen has obtained recoveries in more than 99 percent of its cases.