Summer is here and it’s a good time to get out on the water. If you are planning on going boating with your friends or family, it’s always important to remember your safety guidelines. Whether you are an experienced boater or this is your first time, here are some tips to help keep you safe:
- Always check the weather before you go out on the water. Incoming storms or high winds can make your boating trip dangerous.
- Bring lifejackets and make sure they properly fit on each passenger. Please wear your lifejackets!
- Avoid alcohol. Although it may seem appealing at the time, summer heat and alcohol are not a good mix and can increase the risk of danger if anything were to happen. Alcohol also impairs your reaction time and your ability to control the boat properly. Make sure you know how to swim. Not only is knowing how to swim important for your personal safety but also in the event of a drowning emergency. Drowning is one of the most common causes of accidental death in children. Therefore, swimming is a life-saving skill.
- Boat lighting is essential. Specific lighting is required for vessels operating between sunset and sunrise or during times of restricted visibility. This will help other boaters see you and help with your vision. It is your responsibility to ensure your boat is equipped with proper lighting.
- Inform a friend or family member where you’re going on the water. Let them know when and where you’ll be boating, the names of everyone with you, and their emergency contact information.
- Be “boat smart”. You and your guests should know boat operations and safety procedures before getting on the water.
- Use common sense! Go at safe speeds, know when to stop, and know when to turn back to shore.
- Never get into the water or climb back on board the boat while the engine is running. Make sure the engine is off whenever someone is in the water, especially in the zone of danger which extends 30 feet all around the boat; turn the motor off, remove the keys, and wait until the propeller stops spinning.
These are not the only things to consider while boating, but are some of the major factors to consider when you’re planning a boating trip. If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident, you can contact our law firm, Kershaw Talley Barlow, at (916) 520-6639. Help keep yourself and those around you safe.