Florida’s exceptional weather year-round makes it a great place to own a boat and take it out on the open sea as frequently as possible. It is the ideal way to enjoy the summer months and is something all ages can certainly enjoy. However, being out on the water is just like operating a car – it requires you to take every precaution to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
5 Safety Tips to Employ
Whether you are an expert boater or new to the hobby, there are five critical safety tips all boaters should know and use each time they embark on a trip into the open water.
- Wear Life Jackets – Personal Floatation Devices (PFDs), or life jackets, are one of the most important safety components to use while on your boat. A large majority of boating fatalities are drowning accidents – most of which are 100 percent preventable. The majority of those that perish due to drowning do so because they fail to wear a PFD while aboard a boat. It is a legal requirement to have one properly fitting life jacket for every person on your boat, and children under the age of 13 are required to wear a life jacket at all times unless they are below deck.
- Know the Rules of the Water – Just like Florida streets and highways, there are rules for the open water that have been established by the U.S. Coast Guard. These rules are designed to help boaters avoid accidents, and every boater should have a copy of the rules on board.
- Have Proper Safety Equipment On Board – While not always required, it is in your best interest to have ample safety equipment on board. These include PFDs, fire extinguishers, night lighting, flashlights, whistles, and distress signals.
- Know Your Surroundings – It is easy to become disoriented out on the open water, day or night. You should know your surroundings and location at all times. Look out for diver flags and other boaters, and always stay in marked channels if you are unfamiliar with the area.
- Alcohol Use – It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol, and you could be charged with a BUI if caught. If you cause an accident while under the influence, you may be liable for any property damage and injuries as well. Hence, even if everyone else is, the person operating the boat should never consume alcohol.
Injured in a Boating Accident? Call Attorney Mike Hancock
If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident, call Hancock Injury Attorneys. We can discuss your legal options and insurance coverage, and answer your questions about filing a claim. You can schedule a free consultation by contacting us online or by calling 813-915-1110 now.