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On April 12, 2009 Trever Mills was kayaking in the Gulf of Mexico at Panama City Beach, Florida. The 14 year-old victim was caught in rough surf where his kayak flipped over and he drowned. Rescuers performed CPR and Mills was airlifted to the hospital, but he died later that day.

This tragic accident is a warning to all who vacation along the coast. The Outer Banks, North Carolina draws many vacationers who enjoy trying their hand at kayaking the ocean’s surf. A good idea before heading out to the ocean is to take a class on kayaking. Most states have of these classes offered locally. Be aware of your physical ability, if you are not a strong person it may be a good idea to kayak the canals on the island instead of the ocean. The canals offer a beautiful trip on calm waters where there is much wildlife to be seen.

A life jacket is the most important device that can be used to reduce the risk of drowning. Even in calm waters a life jacket should be worn. Boating accidents can happen for many reasons and it is difficult to think quickly when an accident does happen. If a life jacket is worn it gives enough assistance so that you have time until someone can get to you or until you can gain control of the situation. Remember, it is the law that children under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket. Before using a life jacket it is also wise to check the life jacket recall list on the U.S. Coast Guard website. Your life jacket should have a company name and model number, it only takes a few minutes to check the list and this small task can save your life.About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper,Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.

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