With summer just around the corner, many people will be gearing up to hit the open waters for adventure. No matter what type of boater you are, from avid to beginner, it is important to keep safety top of mind. first always to help reduce your risk of injury or being in an accident. Follow these 7 helpful tips to reduce your risk of injury or getting in an accident.
Check the weather.
It’s dangerous to be out on any body of water during a storm or extremely windy conditions. Check your local weather before you head out and don’t take any risks. According to DiscoveryBoating.com, if you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water. Make sure to also take a portable radio just in case the weather changes while you are out.
Make a Pre-Departure List.
Making sure that you are prepared for any possible scenario on the water is vital when taking sail. Following a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating safety rules or precautions have been overlooked or forgotten. A pre-departure list should include: life jackets, sound producing devices, lights, distress signals, tools and spares, fuel and oil, fire extinguishers, ventilation, bilges, battery care, docking and anchoring tools, rules and documentation and emergency locator beacons. For more details about this list click here.
Use Common Sense.
There aren’t as many rules for the water as there are for the road, so using your common sense is a must. This means operating at a safe speed (especially in crowded areas), staying alert and steering clear of large vessels and watercraft that can be restricted in their ability to stop or turn. Also, be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids, all of which have been placed there to ensure your own safety.
Take a Boating Course.
No matter if you are a beginner or expert, everyone should familiarize themselves with all boating safety rules of operation. It is always important to learn and be prepared for every circumstance that could arise. Boater education requirements vary by state; however, some require validated completion of at least one boating safety course. Look locally for a course or online to help educate yourself.
Use life jackets appropriately.
According to DiscoverBoating.com, the majority of drowning victims are a result of boaters not wearing their lifejackets. Make sure every person on board has a lifejacket that fits.
Be mindful of cold water, especially during the spring, as low temperatures reduce your margin for error.
Loading/unloading your boat.
To decrease the risk of capsizing, don’t overload your boat with passengers or gear . A helpful tip to help with this is to always abide by the boats capacity plate that is typically located near the boats operator’s area.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident, don’t wait. Contact Joe and Martin Injury Attorneys for help.