Personal Watercrafts: Potentially Deadly Fun

Personal watercrafts can be highly dangerous vehicles, even for trained professionals. In 2008, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 4,789 boating accidents involving 709 deaths, 3,331 injuries and $54 million in property damage. Watercraft accidents accounted for 23% of that total. The U.S. Coast Guard noted that the top causes of accidents were operator related: carelessness, inattention, no proper lookout, inexperience, excessive speed and alcohol use. Operator errors can be deadly, especially since personal watercrafts are designed to reach speeds of more than 60 mph, where loss of stability and an increased risk of flipping over can occur. Personal watercrafts do not have braking mechanisms and the natural tendency of most operators is to slow down when approaching a hazard. If the operator is not able to turn the craft in time, they may result in a collision with another boat, dock, a swimmer or the shoreline. Considering the high number of personal watercraft accidents resulting in serious injuries, manufacturers must pay more attention to safety. A reverse thruster (to act as a brake, slowing the craft down) and the installation of a protective seatback to prevent drivers and passengers from falling directly behind (but instead to the side) of a jet-propelled watercraft are just a few safety improvements that manufacturers need to consider. To avoid the needless loss of life and serious injuries, personal watercrafts must be redesigned to include far more safety features. It’s time for marine manufacturers to make safety a top priority in designing a new generation of personal watercrafts. As an operator or  passenger be sure there is at least one life jacket for every passenger on board and take every caution to ensure passengers are safe.  Follow established regulations for the waters you are boating  and always avoid unnecessary risks. Source: “A Little-Known Personal Watercraft Danger” The Safety Report Fall 2010: 14-15

Dear Friends and Clients,

In furtherance of our firm’s culture of commitment to always act with compassion, concern and commitment to our clients, community and colleagues, we have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligations while prioritizing health, wellness and safety of all we can.

As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic has introduced changes to many lives and businesses in our communities, and around the world. We, much like our neighbors and friends, have been taking precautions to ensure that we are still fulfilling our ethical and moral obligation to our clients, while also prioritizing the health, wellness and safety of our employees.

Until further notice, our offices will be closed to the public to encourage social distancing and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our team is still hard at work, many from home, and you may still call, email, live chat or video conference us if you or a loved one is seeking legal assistance. As the first law firm to offer our clients secure online access to their case file more than a decade ago, we have always been believers in using technology to make life easier and information more accessible. In these present times it has been a smooth transition for us to continue to offer our clients the same seamless and thorough service that you deserve and are accustomed to.

This pandemic is unlike anything any of us have faced in our lifetimes, and while we can continue to emotionally support one another through it all, staying home and keeping your distance is vital to the health and wellness of our communities. It does not feel good to break routines, cancel events and retreat from our normal, day-to-day socializing, but let us remember that, in times of strife, prior generations were asked to go to war and we are simply being asked to stay home. Your isolation equals more lives saved, and more time for medical providers to prepare for the treatment of patients battling COVID-19.

When the dust settles, we will join together with a greater appreciation for our lives, local businesses, loved ones and health. Until then, we will continue to offer guidance from a safe distance.

Very truly yours,

Andrew G. Finkelstein and the staff of Finkelstein & Partners, LLP