Boat Accident Lawyer

As the “Ocean State,” recreational boating accidents occur frequently in Rhode Island. Rhode Island is also home to many commercial fishing ventures. Boating accidents may occur on lakes, the bay, or out on the ocean. While some boating mishaps are minor, others result in drowning or serious injuries.

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Every Marasco & Nesselbush auto accident attorney will fight to ensure that if your accident was caused by somebody else, that you are compensated for any and all losses suffered.
Marasco & Nesselbush has successfully recovered millions in insurance company settlements for the following expenses and impacts:

  • Present and future accident-related medical costs
  • Present and future accident-related lost wages
  • Physical pain and mental anguish
  • Household expenses

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The personal injury attorneys at Marasco & Nesselbush provide each client with the personal attention they need and deserve, ensuring that our clients obtain compensation and negligent parties are held accountable.


We make it our priority to ensure that our clients can focus on healing while we establish strong cases to hold negligent parties liable.

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To learn how we can help you after an injury, please fill out a free case evaluation form on this website, or call us today at 401-443-2999 for a free initial consultation.
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Boating Accident Facts

  • Statistics
  • State Law
  • Your Rights

Boating Accident Statistics

Approximately 4,064 boating accidents occurred in 2010, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. These accidents resulted in 672 deaths and 3,153 injuries, and caused $35.5 million in property damage. On average, nearly six people (5.6) per 100,000 registered boats and other water crafts died as a result of these accidents.

Three-fourths (75%) of boating accident deaths in 2010 were caused by drowning. According to the Coast Guard, 88% of those who drowned as a result of boating accidents in 2010 were not wearing life jackets when the accident occurred.

Drownings are more likely to occur on smaller vessels. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that 80 percent of drownings occurred on vessels less than 21 feet in length. This category includes most smaller vessels, including jet skis.

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What are Common Causes of Rhode Island Boat Accidents?

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the top five most common causes of boating accidents are:

  • alcohol use,
  • operator distraction or inattention,
  • failure to keep a proper lookout,
  • operator inexperience, and
  • excessive speed.

Alcohol use was the leading cause of the crash in 19% of accidents in 2010. Open motorboats, personal watercraft, and cabin motorboats were most likely to be involved in these types of accidents.

Collisions between two boats were the leading cause of injuries in 2010, and were the third leading cause of deaths, after boats capsizing, flooding, or swamping. Collisions between boats and fixed objects like docks also caused a substantial number of deaths and injuries in 2010.

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What are the Rhode Island Boating Safety Law Requirements?

Rhode Island law requires young boaters and anyone who uses jet skis or similar recreational vessels to take a mandatory boating safety class. The course covers many topics including the proper use of life jackets and other personal flotation devices (PFDs) (Section 46-22-98).

Boating safety classes and education can literally mean the difference between life and death. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates that only 6% of boating accident deaths in 2010 occurred on boats where at least one person had been trained in boating safety.

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