Boating can be a fantastic experience - on calm waters or large lakes, the scenery is often beautiful, and there's plenty of time to enjoy the company of your fellow boat-mates. Every summer, however, thousands of people are injured and even killed in boating accidents. Before you hop in, make sure you know these five essential safety tips to avoid any boating accidents while out on the water.
#1: Be Aware of Your Surroundings
It is essential to always remain aware of your surroundings when you are on the water. This includes being aware of what's happening above, below, and behind you. Operator inattention is a common cause of boat accident deaths and injuries.
If you have children on board, it is also important to watch them at all times while they are on deck. Be sure to note whether or not there are other boats nearby. You should also be on the lookout for ships in the distance and their colors.
#2: Don’t Drink and Drive
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol is the leading contributing cause of boating accident deaths. Just as with vehicles, boat drivers should not operate the vessel after drinking alcohol.
The sun can exacerbate the effects of alcohol when out on the water. Avoid alcohol and stay hydrated. Wearing a hat can help you avoid sunburns and heatstroke, which together can be pretty severe. To stay cool, stay in the shade when possible, drink plenty of water, and wear protective clothing like rash guards and sunscreen on exposed areas like your face and neck.
#3: Remember What to do During an Emergency
It is essential to know what to do in the event of an emergency. Be sure you know how to use your emergency equipment properly. If you need to leave the boat, get out quickly and don't go back unless you're sure it's safe.
In a worst-case scenario, if your boat starts to sink, do not panic. Calmly look for a place to swim towards to increase your chances of being seen by a rescue craft.
#4: Check Over Your Boat Before Launch
Checking over your boat before launch is essential to ensure it has been set up for a safe and enjoyable outing.
This includes double-checking that your life-jacket is in good condition, that all safety equipment is in place, and that the boat has the correct number of people on board.
#5: Don't Forget Safety Items
It is essential to remember a few items before your next boating adventure. The top item on your list should be your life jacket. Ensure that everyone has one and that they are all properly fitted and worn at all times. Additionally, have a floatation device for every person on board. Such devices include safety harnesses, tethers, and floatation devices specially designed for children.
If you're going out in the dark, keep a light on deck and in the water so that other boats can see you more easily. And of course, don't forget to check the weather before leaving!
Boating is a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors this summer, but it can also be hazardous if you don’t consider its many risks. Be sure to remember these boating safety tips so that you and your family can stay safe on the water all season long!
Help with Boating Accident Claims
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, it’s a good idea to review your case with a personal injury attorney. Even if you believe you can go through insurance for compensation, it can be challenging to receive a settlement that fairly covers your losses. The attorneys at Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, represent your best interests and will work to maximize the compensation you receive for your damages.
With experience in boating accidents involving defective parts, reckless drivers, and serious injuries, our attorneys work smarter and harder to turn your setback into a comeback. Contact us today for a free consultation.