Operating a boat is like driving a car; it can be fun but there are also safety risks. Being prepared before heading out on the water is your best bet to avoid a boating accident. These boating safety tips will help to prepare you for a great trip. If you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident, contact a personal injury lawyer right away to understand your rights.
Top 10 Boating Safety Tips
- Check the weather forecast
Boating during inclement weather can be very dangerous and should therefore be avoided. Always check the weather forecast before heading out in your boat and look for darkening clouds, dropping temperatures or increasing wind.
- Use a pre-departure checklist
A pre-departure checklist includes checking off a list of necessary supplies such as personal flotation devices and distress signals and topping off fuel before heading out. See a sample pre-departure checklist here.
- Operate cautiously
Operate your boat cautiously by being aware of your surroundings. Stay away from large boats, swimmers, and navigational aids such as buoys. Slow down if you find yourself near any of these potential obstacles.
- Have an “assistant captain”
Typically there will be one main boat operator but it is a good idea to have a second person on board who is familiar with the boat and can take over navigation if necessary.
- Write a float plan
Write a float plan and give it to a family member or to staff at the local marina. The basic plan should include the name, address, and phone number of each person on board, the boat type and registration information; where you are planning to boat and for how long. An emergency contact name and number would also be useful along with the types of communication and signal equipment you have onboard.
- Wear lifejackets!
The majority of drowning victims are not wearing life jackets; you could save your life by wearing one!
- Do not boat while intoxicated
Many boating accidents occur because of impaired operators. In fact, your risk of being in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is consumed before or during the trip.
- Know how to Swim
If you are an adult who does not know how to swim, it is not too late. Look into adult swimming lessons at your local aquatic center. If you fall overboard, knowing how to swim could save your life.
- Take a boating safety course
A boating safety course can help to prepare you for various situations while out on the water. There are online courses you can take. Some states require that you take a boating safety course before heading out.
- Take a Free Vessel Safety Check
The US Coast Guard offers free vessel safety checks to verify that you have the right safety equipment in good working order.
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!