When the weather gets warmer, it’s great to go out on the water. Although boating is one of the greatest summertime outdoor activities, it is essential to observe safety protocols to avoid any accidents. You and your passengers must work together to lessen the likelihood of serious injuries or deaths on the water. The following are some of the most crucial safety guidelines to observe when on the water.
Enroll In A Boating Education Program
The U.S. Coast Guard reports that operator error accounts for most boating accidents, so boaters must acquire the skills necessary to operate and navigate their vessels safely.
Never Operate a Boat After Consuming Alcohol
Your safety and those on board are in danger if one chooses to combine alcohol with boating. According to the U.S Coast Guard, about a third of all recreational boating fatalities include alcohol usage. Most of these deaths occur when a boat capsizes or a person falls overboard. Therefore, it’s essential for everyone on board to know the risks associated with consuming alcohol while boating.
Ensure That The Boat Is In Good Shape
Before taking people out on the water on a boat, check to see that everything is in working order. You or the boat’s owners might be liable for negligence if someone is hurt or dies due to poor upkeep.
Pack All Necessary Safety Gear
Everyone should have access to safety equipment, including a first aid kit, emergency supplies, life vests, and other flotation devices. Additionally, every boat has to have working lights, an anchor, and a fire extinguisher. Coast Guard statistics show that drowning accounts for over 70% of all boating accident fatalities and that 84% of those who died were not wearing life jackets at the time of the accident. Therefore, equip your boat with life jackets and ensure your passengers use them.
Keep An Eye On The Forecast And The Water Levels
Do not go out on the lake without checking the weather report first. A beautiful morning can rapidly morph into a gloomy afternoon thunderstorm, particularly during summer. Increased wind and choppy waves are warning signals of an impending storm. Therefore, you should seek shelter on land as soon as feasible.
Avoid Overloading Your Boat
If your boat can only hold so many people, don’t overcrowd it. Carrying too many people or too much cargo might cause your boat to become heavy and capsize.
Keep Your Speed At A Safe Level
A violation of the speed limit on the water will result in the same penalties as on land. The absence of lanes and the erratic movements of different boats make it even more difficult to prevent accidents. Thus, keeping your speed within the legal limits and exercising extreme care over twists and curves is vital when boating.
Get Boat Insurance to Protect Yourself
Even if you take every precaution possible, accidents may still occur. Get boat insurance to cover costs associated with repairs to your boat, medical care for injured passengers, and legal defense in case of a collision with another boat.
Following these simple guidelines can help lessen the likelihood of an accident and ensure the safety of the boater, their passengers, and other people on the water. However, suppose you get hurt in a boating accident, it’s in your best interest to hire a boating accident lawyer to assess your claim and pursue the compensation and benefits to which you are entitled.