Uncontrolled boating increases personal injury risk

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Concerns of personal injury and wrongful death in boating accidents are being voiced following the tragic accident that occurred at Alum Creek Reservoir last week.

Morgan Montgomery, a 19-year old visiting Ohio from Australia, was waterskiing at Alum Creek on August 2nd, when she fell from her skis and was run over by a speedboat that was reportedly racing with other boats.  Her body was recovered the following day.

Only one central Ohio boating site – Hoover Reservoir- restricts horsepower and speed.  Delaware Lake, Alum Creek Reservoir and O’Shaughnessy Reservoir have few restrictions – a situation that concerns many recreational boaters.  Many boaters want to see restrictions imposed on the number of boats allowed on the water and believe that horsepower limits and speed limits should be established.

According to data from the State of Ohio, Alum Creek is second only to Lake Erie in the number of reported boating accidents.  Between 2003 and 2012, 65 accidents occurred at Alum Creek Reservoir.

One frequent boater at Alum Creek opined that the waterways should be treated as highways, stating “You cannot do 80 or 90 mph on the open highway.  They have speed limits.  Why are the allowing it in a more confined and congested area?  The waves become incredible.  With that kind of speed, it becomes very difficult to control the boat.”  He further expressed his opinion that “cigarette” boats – long narrow boats capable of exceeding 100 mph  and lacking brakes – should be restricted to Lake Erie or other open water areas due to the limited visibility the boat operator has over the bow.

“It’s like driving on the highway with your hood halfway up,” he stated.

Many believe that the lack of restrictions on boating greatly increase the potential for personal injury and/or wrongful death.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident due to another’s actions, the Ohio boating accident attorneys at Clark, Perdue & List may be able to help.