Police in Washington are worried that paddleboarders are in danger. This concern follows at least three incidents involving paddleboarders. In the three cases, they drowned in Washington waters this month alone. According to officials, the victims were not wearing life jackets.
Under the laws of the Evergreen state paddleboards are vessels. So people must always carry a life jacket with them while paddleboarding. Unfortunately, many won’t. And the results can be drastic.
In order to help prevent drowning incidents, the Seattle Police Department’s harbor patrol checks people on paddleboards and other boats. But despite all the work they put into it, they sometimes fail to make sure all boaters are safe. In order to help prevent similar incidents like the deadly ones we saw this month, all boaters and paddleboarders must follow the law.
A decade ago, there were no paddleboarding deaths in Washington. But in 2017, officials registered 11 deaths.
While the sport might be new, paddleboarding is responsible for half of the state’s boating fatalities, officials say. That includes kayaks, canoes, and boards.
In order to be a safer boater, Washingtonians must remember that following the law means they should always have a life jacket on.
Because Washington’s lakes and rivers can be cold even if the weather is warm, paddleboarders and boaters enter in shock when they fall into cold water. Even experienced swimmers may experience this problem. If you are underwater and you gasp, you drown.
As personal injury attorneys, we have helped countless accident victims and know how difficult it is for family and friends to deal with the accidental death of a loved one. We urge everyone reading this to be especially careful when boating or partaking in any similar sport.
Carry your life jacket and follow the authorities’ instructions. Also, make sure to alert others of the risks if you’re going in a group.
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