Recreational boating accidents in California declined from 2007 to 2016. However, hundreds of boating accidents still occur each year. Many of those incidents result in injuries and deaths. Combined with the incidents involving commercial vessels, the number of preventable injuries and deaths is staggering. Below is a brief overview of San Diego boating accident law that may protect those who suffer harm at sea. If you were injured, consulting with an experienced maritime lawyer is critical to understanding the facts of your unique case.
San Diego has its own set of boating regulations in addition to state and federal maritime law. Some of these laws are below.
No one may operate a watercraft faster than 5 mph when traveling within 100 feet of a swimmer or surfer. The same rule applies when a vessel is within 200 feet of a beach that swimmers use.
On the oceanfront coastline of the City of San Diego, no one may operate a vessel over 5 mph within 1,000 feet of the coastline.
In Mission Bay, the speed limit is 5 mph from sunset to sunrise. Certain areas have the same speed restriction at other times of the day as well. Those traveling in Mission Bay must adhere to the designated speed restrictions at all times.
No one under age 12 may operate a motorized vessel with more than 15 horsepower. Children between the ages of 12 and 16 must have a person age 18 or older onboard in order to operate a motorized vessel with more than 15 horsepower.
Equipment requirements vary depending on the exact vessel. However, most recreational boats must have wearable flotation devices for each person on board and a throwable flotation device. Some must carry a marine-grade fire extinguisher. Boats must also have specific sound-producing devices, signals, and lights. Boaters should consult San Diego’s regulations to ensure they are appropriately registered and have all the necessary equipment aboard.
It’s important to get legal help right away if you or a family member sustained injuries as a result of another party’s carelessness on the water. Depending on the jurisdiction of your case, you may be limited to the amount of time you have to seek compensation for medical bills and other losses.
For more than 70 years, CaseyGerry has been committed to protecting the rights of people hurt in San Diego. We welcome you to call CaseyGerry at (619) 238-1811 for a confidential consultation.