Practice Boating Safety for Summer Fun
As the weather warms, boating safety comes to mind because many people will be heading to the ocean or river. Whether just enjoying the sunny weather, fishing or swimming, no one wants to be injured in an accident. Since everyone wants to have an enjoyable and safe time while out on the water, knowing what the common causes of boating accidents are can be helpful.
Causes of Boating Accidents
By understanding how boating accidents happen, it helps the boater exercise caution and practice good boating safety. The U.S. Coast Guard reported the most common reasons for boating accidents noted in the following sections.
Inattention by the Operator
Those who operate boats need to continually monitor the craft and be vigilant. They also need to watch for nearby objects, a turn in the weather or other unsafe conditions. The sea can be unpredictable, so looking for anything that might become a hazard is important. Folsom Lake can be particularly hazardous because water levels rise and go down.
This is one of the top causes of boating accidents, according to the Coast Guard. Although boat operators need to know about boating safety and navigation, it is important that they can handle an emergency situation. For example, if your boat strikes an object and gets a hole in the hull, knowing what to do to deal with the situation can avoid injuries or a tragedy. Young people 16 and over may operate a boat that has 15 hp or more if they have a California Boater Card. Youngsters between 12 and 15 are required to be supervised by someone who is at least 18. For a dinghy or sailboat under 30 feet, there is no age restriction.
Having a Designated Watcher
The lack of boating safety precautions is the number two causes of boating accidents. While the person captaining the boat is looking for dangers, it helps to designate someone else to do the same thing.
Speeding and Boating Safety
Speeding can endanger your life when in a motor vehicle. It is also dangerous to speed in a boat. This is because you have less time to react if an accident is looming.
Drinking While Operating a Boat
Just as drunk driving affects motorists, it affects boaters. In California, a BAC level of 0.08 or higher while operating a boat can result in a fine and up to six months in jail.
An equipment defect or failure can lead to boating accident injuries or fatalities. Ensure that the boat is in good operating condition, and don’t forget to check life vests and other safety equipment.
Waters can turn dangerous in minutes, and heavy waves can capsize a boat or toss someone overboard. This increases the danger of drowning or having an amputation injury from the boat’s propeller. Keeping a check on weather conditions can avoid dangerous scenarios.
Safe Water Navigation
Boating has rules just as driving does. Ignoring safe navigation rules can lead to an accident or running aground. California offers various boating classes and safety courses that can teach you what you need to know. The Division of Boating and Waterways of California even offers an online course, and you can take the exam online also.
Weather Conditions and Boating Safety
To practice boating safety, always check weather conditions, and keep a weather radio onboard. This can notify you if a storm suddenly blows up or winds get high. Ignoring weather alerts can end you up in an accident.
Waves and Wakes
Water disturbances can lead to accidents that cause injuries and fatalities. This is especially true if someone falls overboard. Keeping a safe speed and using caution while passing other boats can help. The higher the speed, the more likely you will experience large waves and wakes.
Watch YouTube Video ~ Boating Safety. The video below gives a few good basic reminders about boat safety equipment that everyone should be sure to have on board their vessel.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal injury lawyer. Financial compensation can be sought by the other party when an injury is caused by negligence. Call me at (916) 921-6400 locally or (800) 404-5400 for my free and friendly advice. Some prefer to contact me online.
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