According to a report from CBS 4 News Rio Grande Valley, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) has suspended a search for two people who are still missing after a serious boat accident off the coast of Texas. The tragic incident occurred near Port Mansfield in Willacy County. It is still unclear if the body of a woman discovered in the surrounding area last week is related. In fact, federal officials are still unsure how many people were aboard the vessel. They are looking into the matter for a possible connection to human smuggling. Here, our Texas boat accident lawyer highlights what we know about the risks of non-commercial boating in the United States.
Know the Data: Boat Accidents Remain a Serious Public Safety Hazard
While the Port Mansfield area boating accident is still under comprehensive investigation, it is clear that the vessel in question in this case was not licensed to operate commercially. Commercial boat operators are common carriers held to heightened safety standards. Recreational boats and other non-commercial boaters also have a legal duty to protect the health and well-being of their passengers. Sadly, too many of them fail to do so. According to data provided by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), the following recreational boat accident fatalities were reported in 2020 alone:
- Florida: 70 non-commercial boat accident fatalities.
- Texas: 55 non-commercial boat accident fatalities.
- California: 37 non-commercial boat accident fatalities.
- New York: 25 non-commercial boat accident fatalities.
- North Carolina: 23 non-commercial boat accident fatalities.
Altogether, there were nearly 775 non-commercial boat accident deaths reported nationwide in 2020. There were also thousands of other non-fatal recreational boating accidents that led to severe injuries. Many of these accidents occurred due to negligent boat operation—which means they could and should have been prevented.
What to Do if You are Involved in a Non-Commercial Boat Accident in Southeast Texas
Boat accidents are dangerous. If you or your loved one was hurt in a recreational or non-commercial boating accident in Texas, you need to know how to protect your safety, legal rights, and financial interests. Here are five key steps to take after sustaining an injury on a recreational boat:
- Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries;
- Report the accident to the authorities—especially if a severe injury was suffered;
- Try to document the boat accident, gathering evidence and information;
- Avoid signing anything or giving a recorded statement to an insurer; and
- Set up a free, confidential consultation with a Texas boat accident lawyer.
Get Help From a Boat Accident Attorney in Texas
At the Kolodny Law Firm, our Texas maritime injury attorneys work tirelessly to help victims and their families secure financial support. If you or someone you care about was hurt in a boating accident, we are here to help. Contact us now for a no fee, no obligation case review. We handle boat accident claims throughout Southeastern Texas, including in Harris County and Galveston County.