Any time a passenger gets into a boat, there is a danger of something going seriously wrong. Whether it be some problem with the boat itself, or the risk of colliding with a stationary object or another vessel, boating has its fair share of inherent risks. This is especially the case in Florida, where boating regulations are notoriously lax.
In Florida, there is no requirement to obtain a license prior to operating a boat. The only requirement in place is that anyone born in 1988 or later must obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. These cards, which are available online after taking a short virtual lesson, are good for life with no further requirement.
In South Florida, air boat tours are a common way for locals and tourists alike to explore the Everglades. However, even the guides operating these boats – often at high speeds – are not required to obtain any special permit or license. Additionally, there are no regulations that these boats have any safety features installed. It should come as no surprise then that there were over 700 boating accidents last year, resulting in 67 deaths. This makes Florida the state with the most boating accidents and fatalities.