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Florida boating accidents have reached a seven-year high, according to the latest state numbers.

In 2011, 742 recreational watercraft accidents occurred in Florida, which was the highest total since 2004, when 743 boating incidents led to injuries and deaths.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, five people were injured in Clay County’s Black Creek on July 2 when their 21-foot boat rammed into trees and then ran aground. The injured victims ranged from seven to 38 years of age. It seems threatening weather was a factor in the wreck.

FWC investigators state that the open-deck boat was traveling towards Knights Boat Ramp at the U.S. Highway 17 Bridge, and was attempting to escape the stormy conditions. The water vessel veered to the right, running into trees and the creek’s shoreline, and finally coming to a stop approximately 25-30 feet into the woods along the shore.

The FWC is still investigating the incident.

Florida Boating Accidents Since 2004

Florida has close to 1,200 miles of coastline, 11,000 miles of rivers and streams and the second-largest freshwater lake in the United States. Because of this abundance of waterways, there are around one million registered recreational boating vessels in the state.

According to the FWC, these are the boat accident figures since 2004:

  • 2004 – 743 accidents
  • 2005 – 667 accidents
  • 2006 – 670 accidents
  • 2007 – 668 accidents
  • 2008 – 657 accidents
  • 2009 – 620 accidents
  • 2010 – 668 accidents
  • 2011 – 742 accidents

If you have been in a watercraft wreck, contact a qualified Florida boat accident attorney to learn about your legal rights.