In 2014, a number of high-profile boat accidents made news in Miami-Dade. There was the Fourth of July weekend boating accident that claimed the lives of four people, and an incident involving a boat driven by radio mainstay DJ Laz. His Voli Vodka-sponsored boat got stuck on a sandbar, and a man was killed when he got caught in the propeller while trying to free it. But even beyond those high-profile incidents, boating accidents are stunningly common in Miami.
In fact, according to new numbers released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Miami-Dade County lead the state in number of boating accidents, and that's not just by sheer numbers but also by number of accidents per registered vessels.
In 2014, there were 79 boating accidents in Miami-Dade. Ten people died between them, and 47 people were injured. The number of fatalities are up from 2013 when four people died, but the number of injuries is down slightly from 50.
In the entire state of Florida there were 634 accidents with 73 boating related deaths.
That works out to one accident per every 804 registered vessels in the county, and the total estimated property damage was $2.2 million.
Here's a map of where all those accidents occurred.
Red dots indicate fatal accidents. Blue dots are accidents with injuries. Green dots are accidents without injuries.
The leading cause of accidents in Miami-Dade was operator inexperience. That accounted for 14 accidents. Eleven cases were chalked up to "no proper look-out," while operator inattention was responsible for nine.
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That means the vast majority of accidents were avoidable and due to human failure. Machinery failure only accounted for seven accidents while equipment failure accounted for four. Weather and rough water were only accountable for one accident each.
Twenty-five of those accidents were collisions with other vessels, 19 were flooding, and six were a collision with a fixed object.
Monroe County was the second-most dangerous county for boaters. Broward and Palm Beach were ranked sixth and fourth respectively.