Advice on Avoiding a Boating Accident Injury
Living in Florida, we are fortunate enough to be exposed to much beautiful coastline – where boating is a popular and leisurely pastime. Enjoy it – but be careful to avoid a boating accident injury. Due to the increase of boating activity and the fact that Florida does not require boat users to acquire instruction or education, the number of boating accidents occurring in Florida has also seen a rise, resulting in various personal injury cases around the state.
What Types of Boating Accidents are Occurring in Florida?
Some of the more common boating accidents include the following:
- Collisions with other water vessels or objects under the water
- People falling overboard
- Excessive speeding
- Sinking or capsizing the boat
- Explosions or fires occurring on board
- Swimmers being struck by the boat’s propeller
- Carbon monoxide emissions from the engine, resulting in sickness
To avoid turning your boat trip into a disaster by having an accident, here are some simple tips to stay safe while out on the water.
1. Always Carry Enough Lifejackets
Even if you are just planning on a casual and calm boat trip close to the shoreline, it’s still vital that your boat contains enough lifejackets for each passenger on board. The thing about accidents is that they can occur when you least expect it – and it’s always better to be prepared.
2. Look After the Boat
Before you even set foot in your boat, make sure it is worthy of a trip. Accidents occur when people are not prepared – and if you haven’t checked to the ensure the boat is 100 per cent safe to take out on the water, then you’re putting yourself and your passengers at risk.
3. Avoid Busy Areas
If you’re planning a fun boat trip out, try to avoid busier areas where the water will be filled with boat traffic. Aside from the smaller space increasing the chance for collision, the waves from other speeding boats could easily result in your vessel capsizing. Try and give yourself as wide a birth from all other boats or objects as possible.
4. Avoid Inexperience
If you don’t have that much experience with driving boats, don’t let your ego get in the way – ask the operator of the boat company that you’ve hired from for further tips and instructions. Additionally, don’t let your passengers convince you to drive at a speed you’re not comfortable with – if you’re going so fast that you’re feeling out of control, this is when you’re likely to have an accident.
5. Be a Leader
If you are driving the boat, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your passengers are safe and this means that they adhere to correct procedure. When the boat is moving, people should be sitting down, not moving from side to side of the boat. Just image, people are walking around the boat when a faster boat speeds past and causes a wave to rock yours. It’s easy for people to fall down, or worse, overboard when their balance is lost.
6. Be Wary of Swimmers
When the boat’s engine is on, the sharp edges of the propeller is a danger to swimmers, so make sure you’re aware of where people are at all times. If you’ve stopped the boat to let people off to swim, before you turn the engine back on again, make sure all passengers are safely back onboard.
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