5 Boating Safety Tips that Could Save Your Life

Boating Accident

Whether you are vacationing or enjoying your days off close to home, boating is a popular choice for summer recreation. And while boating can be fun for the whole family, Accidents on the water can quickly turn deadly. You can minimize your risk of boating accidents and injuries by planning ahead and following some very basic boating safety tips.

Take a Boating Safety Course

If you are new to boating, a boating safety course can help you get off to a good start, avoid rookie mistakes that can get you killed, and cut down on frustrations that often go along with trying something new. Seasoned boaters can always use a refresher too. According to the National Safety Council, 70% of boating accidents are caused by operator error.

Stay Sober

The penalties for boating under the influence may not be as harsh as those for DUI, but the risks are just as serious. Whether you are operating a boat or just riding along, staying sober is a must. Impairment of any kind increases the risk that you will get into a boating accident and drown. That includes intoxication with alcohol, prescription drugs, over-the-counter- (OTC) medications and recreational drugs.

Mind the Weather

Check out the weather report immediately before you head out on the water and pay attention while you’re out there. Storms can come up fast with little or no warning and turn the conditions from tranquil and relaxed to violent and deadly in a matter of minutes. Rough waters, a sudden drop in temperature, changing winds, and darkening clouds are all signs that you need to get off the water.

Let Someone Know

Before hitting the water, you need to give someone your float plan. It doesn’t need to be complicated, although the more details you can give the better off you’ll be if something goes wrong. You can give your information to a friend, family member, or even a staff member at the marina. The most important details are where you re going and when you expect to be back. You should also include names and contact information for yourself and everyone who will be accompanying you, type of boat, registration information, itinerary if you have one and list the type of communication devices on your boat.

Wear Your Life Jacket

That goes for you and everyone else on the boat. Insist on it. If you are in a boating accident, a life jacket may save you even if you are knocked unconscious. More than 80% of people who have drowned in boating accidents were not wearing their life jackets

If you or someone you love had been injured in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, please, contact an experienced boating accident attorney right away.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.