Top Safe Boating Practices
With summer in full swing, many boats are hitting the water to enjoy sporting and recreational activities. Whether you plan to enjoy time on the ocean, the bay, rivers, lakes, or ponds, boating safety should be your top priority. The United States Coast Guard reported over 4,000 boating accidents that resulted in 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries in the year 2015.
Unlicensed and inexperienced boat operators create a dangerous playground for all those on the water. Drowning and physical injuries result in catastrophic deaths and serious harm to those intending to enjoy a day out at sea. What makes the situation even more tragic is the fact that the majority of boating deaths and injuries are entirely preventable.
With preparation and proper training, boating can be a very enjoyable and safe activity. Safety must come first, and attention to the top safe boating practices can ensure that you and your family have a fun and enjoyable experience.
- Boater Safety Course: All boat operators should have a boater safety course certification before they venture out onto the water. Understanding the rules of driving on the water, how tides, currents, and wind speeds affect navigation, and how to handle rouge waves and rough seas are essential to safe operation.
- Make a Plan before Venturing Out to Sea: Boat operators are responsible for the safety of their passengers and all those on the water. Be sure to check the marine weather conditions, wind conditions, tide charts, and navigation information to plan your course. Avoid traveling at night when unfamiliar with buoy systems and channel markers.
- Have an Annual Certified Boat Safety Inspection: Boat safety inspections conducted by the Coast Guard or a licensed marine safety administrator are essential to ensuring your vessel is safe and within marine safety regulations.
- Carry Reliable Communication Equipment: Always be sure to have a fully charged cell phone, radio, or other communication system in place before departing from the dock. Trouble at sea can happen quickly and unexpectedly. Reliable communication devices will ensure that you can call for help as needed.
- Avoid Distracted Driving: Distracted driving on the water can lead to serious and fatal boat accidents. The same rules for distraction while driving a car apply to driving a boat. Keep your eyes on the water in front of you, behind you, and on either side of you. Put down the cell phone and limit passenger distractions.
- Refrain from Drinking Alcoholic Beverages or Using Recreational Drugs: Boat operators have a legal responsibility to ensure that they are sober and abstain from alcohol and drugs while operating their vessel. Guests should be prohibited from excessive alcohol use or recreational drug use as well.
- Avoid Speeding and Obey No Wake Zones: Speeding in a boat is as dangerous and destructive as speeding in a car. High speed boating accidents have a high risk of deadly injuries and drowning.
- Keep a Safe Distance from other Boats: Tides, currents, and winds can make boats move in unexpected directions. Always keep a safe distance from other boats while traveling and while anchored.
Cape May Maritime Accident Lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. Help Victims of Boating Accidents Claim Compensation
If you have been injured in a maritime accident, call the Cape May maritime accident lawyers at Freedman & Lorry, P.C. at 888-999-1962 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Philadelphia, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and Pinehurst, North Carolina offices serve clients throughout South Jersey, including the areas of Gloucester, Cape May, and Wildwood.