Police have released the name of a drowning victim found in Clearwater recently. The accident happened on the Intracoastal Waterway in Clearwater. The police have identified Alton Rogers, Jr., 65, from Chicago as the victim of the drowning accident. According to the report, witnesses say that Mr. Rogers had jumped off of a boat to push it away from a sandbar when he began to have trouble in the water.

Rescuers came to his aid in the water, and Mr. Rogers was rushed to a nearby hospital. Unfortunately, he did not make it and was declared dead later that day. Investigators are still trying to determine what exactly caused Mr. Rogers to drown in the Intracoastal Waterway, and the investigation remains underway.

Florida Drowning Accidents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 10 people die every day from unintentional drowning, and it ranks as the fifth leading cause of unintentional deaths across the country. Between 2005 and 2009, there were an average of 3,533 fatal unintentional drownings in non-boating accidents and another 347 fatalities from boating-related drownings every year. Almost 80 percent of all drowning victims are males, and minorities have a significantly higher risk of drowning than other groups.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission tracks boating-related drownings and accidents around the state. In 2013, the commission found that there were a total of 736 reportable boating accidents and 62 fatalities that year. The leading cause of death in boating accidents was drowning, with 74 percent of the fatalities attributed to that cause. In addition, 72 percent of the boat operators involved in boating deaths were over the age of 35 years old, and 84 percent of the victims were male.

Factors that Influence Drowning

There are many factors that influence drownings in Florida and across the country. Research has found that the most common factors that increase the possibility of drowning in a boating or non-boating related accident include:

  • Lack of swimming ability;
  • Lack of barriers;
  • Lack of close supervision;
  • Location;
  • Failure to wear life jackets;
  • Alcohol use; and
  • Seizure disorders.

In order to help people be safer in the water, the CDC recommends that adults supervise when someone is in or around the water, using the buddy system, advocating seizure disorder safety, learning to swim, learning CPR, avoiding alcohol, and being aware of weather conditions. If you have a swimming pool, the CDC recommends that you install a four-sided fence and to clear the pool deck of toys. If you are in a natural water environment, the organization recommends that you use life jackets, know the meaning of warning flags, and watch for signs of dangerous waves or rip currents.

Contact a Drowning Accident Attorney

With year-round sunny weather, pools in almost every yard, and miles of beaches and waterways, water safety is of the utmost priority in Florida. Unfortunately, accidents in the water still happen, and the experienced personal injury attorneys at Reed & Reed are here to help. From our office in Brandon, we help clients in Tampa, New Tampa, Plant City, East Hillsborough County and throughout the state of Florida. Contact Reed & Reed for a free consultation.