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Fatal Boating Accidents on the Rise in Alabama

March 26, 2020

BIRMINGHAM, AL- writes that boating accidents are killing more people in recent years in Alabama. In the first half of 2019, 25 people died in boating incidents in the state, making the year the worst on record since 1998. In 1998, 32 people died over the course of the entire year.*

The total number of deaths for the first half of 2019 exceeded even the year-end totals for several recent years. In July, twelve crashes took place, leading to six deaths. A spokesperson for the Alabama Law Enforcement’s Marine Patrol stated that he has been working on the force for 24 years and has never seen a year as deadly as 2019. Investigators are not sure why the year turned out to be so dangerous for boaters in the state. Some of the incidents are occurring in the daytime, and others at night, some are single-vessel crashes, and others involve multiple boats. Drunk boat operators are suspected in some of the crashes, as well. 

The state has seen a drop in its Marine Patrol on the state’s rivers and lakes. There are currently 45 officers and 21 vacancies. 

Another likely factor for the increase in boat crashes is the rise in boat licenses. The situation means that there are more people out on the water and less oversight from law enforcement. 

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.