Five Boating Safety Tips For Summer
Summer is here and getting out on a boat is a great way to enjoy the outdoors while maintaining social distancing from others during the pandemic. However, according to the Miami Herald, the Coast Guard has ranked Florida the leading state for boat accidents every year since 2015. In 2019 there were 670 boat accidents, which resulted in 62 fatalities. If you are going to head out on the water this summer in any type of watercraft, we encourage you to practice these tips to remain safe and avoid personal injury.
Wear a Life Jacket
Florida temperatures can be above 90 degrees in the summer, which makes the idea of wearing a life jacket sometimes unpleasant. However, there often is not time to put on a life jacket after an accident and many fatal accidents occur because a person who is not wearing a life jacket drowns before help can arrive.
Do Not Mix Drinking and Boating
Florida Statute 327.35 states that a person convicted of boating under the influence will face a fine between $500 and $1,000 for their first offense along with imprisonment for up to six months. Drinking not only impairs a person’s ability to safely operate a boat but it slows a person’s reaction time should there be an emergency on the water.
Check the Weather Ahead of Time and During Your Trip
A skilled boater knows that when the barometer starts to fall there is bad weather coming in. However, it is wise to check the weather and hurricane warnings before even getting out on to the water. Look to the sky, changes in temperature, and changes in wind to indicate that it is time to turn your boat towards home for the day.
Check Your Boat and Equipment Regularly
Boats, just like other vehicles, require maintenance to parts on a regular basis. In addition, it is prudent to verify that your navigation lights are working, that your flares are up to date, and that your radio is functional.
Check Your Speed, Especially in Crowded Areas
Florida does have regulatory signs on the waterways to limit boater’s speeds. Some places show a specific speed limit while others simply say, “Idle speed, no wake” zone. Beyond these markings is it important that each boater take responsibility for maintaining a safe speed. Safe speed means that you have time to react to other vessels or obstacles in the water. In addition to watching your own speed, it is advisable to watch out for any boaters nearby who are operating their vessel in a reckless manner and do your best to avoid their path.
Contact the Boating Accident Attorneys at Payer Law
Even if you take all safety precautions on the water, there is still potential to be involved in a boating accident with another party who has been reckless. If you or a loved one comes off of the water with injuries that someone else should be held liable for, you need to speak to a personal injury attorney with experience in boating accidents. The Orlando boat accident lawyers at Payer Law can help you prove fault and seek compensation. Contact our offices at 407-307-2979 to schedule a free consultation today.