Many parts of Tennessee, including the Knoxville area, have lots of lakes, rivers and other waterways where people can canoe, kayak or otherwise enjoy the water. This is especially true in the warmer summer months.

Unfortunately, with summer boating also comes serious boating accidents. Thus far this year, 5 people have drowned while canoeing or kayaking on Tennessee’s waterways. Interestingly, none of these accidents involved particularly treacherous rapids; they were rivers that, at least on paper, people of all ages could enjoy.

In 2019, Tennessee reported 107 boating accidents, 9 of which involved at least one fatality. Of all boating accidents across the country, about 1 in 6 involve canoeing or kayaking.

Experts who are aware of the trend attributed it to boaters not wearing lifejackets. They also said that many of these accidents happened because those involved lacked training and experience. They pointed out that sometimes boaters think that they do not need training to navigate lakes and gentle rivers.

However, victims of boating accidents and their families should not be too quick to blame themselves or chalk up their loss to an unfortunate tragedy. They should instead carefully investigate what caused their accident.

In some cases, some defect in the boat or canoe itself could have contributed to the accident. In other cases, another boater, an outfitter or someone else may be responsible for the tragedy.

Victims of boating accidents may have the ability to pursue compensation for their injuries on a number of legal theories. This compensation can help families with expensive items like medical bills and other expenses, and it can also replace lost income.