Canoeing is a very popular activity on lakes throughout Orlando. While canoeing can be fun for the family, problems could also arise if proper safety precautions are not followed or if there is a malfunction with the canoe that causes the small boat to capsize. An accident lawyer in Orlando can help victims of canoe accidents as well as other accidents on boats and vessels. Victims may be able to take legal action if someone else was to blame for their injuries, including canoe manufacturers, negligent canoe operators and other boats on the waterways.
Canoe Accident Leaves One Missing
According to the Orlando Sentinel, a canoe accident occurred on Halfmoon Lake in Ocala. The canoe collapsed with five people inside. Two children and another man were rescued from the water with conditions unknown. One woman was pulled from the water but was subsequently pronounced dead at a local hospital. The man who had taken his four relatives out on his canoe is still missing and the search continues.
The family headed out into the lake in the canoe at around 6:30 in the evening. Officials from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission indicate that they are not certain why the canoe overturned and that an investigation is being conducted into the cause of the incident. Dive teams are also being sent to the lake to attempt to locate the missing man.
Unfortunately, canoe accidents can happen and this incident illustrates how devastating the consequences can be. Operators of canoes have an obligation to follow basic safety rules and the American Canoe Association has provided safety tips intended to help prevent accidents from occurring. The ACA suggests:
- Operators of canoes should take on-water courses to learn about safe canoeing, kayaking, rafting and paddleboarding. ACA provides on-water courses, and there are both safety and skill development courses you can complete before going canoeing.
- Wear a life jacket. Anyone on board a canoe should be prepared to occasionally capsize and need to swim. Personal flotation devices can save lives and keep you afloat until rescue comes.
- Be alert to the risks of cold water. Immersion in water between 50 and 60 degrees can cause "cold water shock." After the canoe capsizes, the body is thrust into cold water and the person's heart rate and blood pressure increase. The body's reflexive instinct is to gasp for air, and cardiac arrest can even sometimes occur. Wearing appropriate equipment for cold-water canoeing is essential to prevent this type of shock.
- Know the rules of the road. Those operating a canoe must be able to share the waterways safely, just like anyone else who goes out on a lake.
- Do a safety check before going out in a canoe. Make sure that the boat is structurally sound and that there is safety gear on board for everyone.
Central Florida accident victims and families who lost loved ones can contact Orlando personal injury attorney Richard B. Troutman by calling 866-434-5770 or visit http://www.richardtroutman.com. Serving Orlando, Winter Park, FL and surrounding areas.