There are many boating opportunities for residents of Las Vegas including Lake Mead, Lake Topaz and the Colorado River. It is inevitable that, with the number of boaters in Nevada, there are going to be accidents. Motorboats represent 46% of all accidents, personal watercraft 22% and cabin boats 32%.
Causes of boating accidents include inattention, operator inexperience, excessive speed, improper lookout and alcohol. The Coast Guard reported 4,730 accident involving 736 death, 3,358 injuries and approximately $36 million in property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents. Coast Guard statistics show that for every 100,000 registered boats, there are 5.8 deaths.
Intoxicated boating leads to many accidents on the water. Nevada water destinations such as Lake Mead attract many visitors, on and in the water. The use of alcohol or drugs while operating a boat, jet ski, pontoon or other watercraft can impair your judgement leading to a variety of accidents waiting to happen. These accidents include:
- Running over swimmers or skiers. Boaters need to look out for more than just other vessels. Swimmers and skiers in the water are difficult to see with a clear mind. An intoxicated boater can easily overlook one of these people and run over them, leading to severe injuries – deep lacerations, head injuries, broken bones – or death.
- Collisions with other craft. While Lake Mead has plenty of space, a chemically impaired boater may end up crashing with another boat or jet ski. This not only causes property damage, it could end up with a sunken vessel, catastrophic injuries or death.