The weather is warm, the water is amazing, and family and friends all want to enjoy the beautiful sunshine outdoors! Summertime can be full of fun activities such as boating, but there are dangers if you’re not careful.
In 2017, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,291 accidents (2,629 injuries and 658 deaths) plus approximately $46 million in property damage because of boating accidents.
Below is a list of tips to stay as safe as possible this summer while boating.
- Wear a life jacket or have one close by. If you’re boating alone, wear the life jacket at all times. Over half of all drownings are due to someone not having a life jacket.
- Never drink and boat. Too many accidents occur due to alcohol. Your sense of perception and thought process can become distorted with too much alcohol consumption.
- Don’t speed. Life on the water should be relaxing and fun. There’s no hurry! Speeding can cause you to lose control and run into other boats if you aren’t careful.
- Keep up your boat maintenance. Make certain it’s in tip-top condition before taking it out on the water. Regularly check to ensure it’s running efficiently. If someone is injured or killed in your boat due to poor maintenance, you could be held liable.
- Take a boat safety course. You may be surprised by how much you don’t know. You may even learn something that could possibly save a life.
- Keep an emergency kit with you on the boat. This should consist of extra water, gas, food, sunscreen, a blanket, medicines, and other essentials if you were to get stranded.
- Check the weather. Don’t try to brave the storm. If it appears that rough weather is headed your way, it’s time to head back to shore.
Have fun on the water, but take precautions that can help you to avoid a serious accident. If you’ve been in a boating accident, read our personal injury blog for tips on what to do next.