Summer Safety: Dock and Boating
As the weather warms up, more people are taking to the water and participating in activities like canoeing, kayaking, and boating. To make sure your summer is fun and safe, it’s important to be mindful of dock and boating safety.
Even if you are the kind of person who owns a boat, you still need to be aware of boating safety. This means you know what to do before you leave the dock and what to do once you are in the water. According to the National Association of Boating Laws Administrators, more than 4,200 people were injured in boating and water accidents in 2017. Of these people, more than 650 people died.
On top of injuries and fatalities our Birmingham injury lawyers see, it is estimated that there is more than $46 million dollars’ worth of property damage is caused every year in these types of accidents.
Always Wear Your Life Jacket While Near or On the Water
One of the biggest mistakes people make while on the dock or in their boat is not having their life jacket handy. On the contrary, when a child is on a dock or boat, typically people keep an eye on them. The odds of a child falling in the water and getting hurt are actually quite low as long as they have adult supervision. If an adult falls over, it could go unnoticed. It is also a lot more difficult to pull a full-grown adult out of the water than it is a small child.
When it comes to your life jackets, keep the following things in mind:
- Make sure it is a certified life jacket that has been approved by the U.S. Coast Guard or National Association of Boating Law Administration.
- Always check that your life jacket fits you well. If there is too much room between the vest and your body, it needs to be tightened.
- Have someone check that your vest fits properly.
Wear it – it is not enough that you have a life jacket on the boat or dock. If you are not wearing it, it will do you no good. This is especially true when operating or riding on a personal watercraft.
Have enough life jackets available for every person on your boat. Make sure you have the correct number of child and adult vests
Be Prepared – What You Do Before You Leave the Dock Matters
Before you set out on the water, make sure you have taken the National Association of Boating Laws Administrator’s safety course. In addition, here are some other guidelines you need to follow when you are ready to go out on the water:
- Take advantage of the free vessel safety checks offered by the U.S. Coast Guard
- Have a float plan before you leave the dock
- Always have extra clothing in case you do get wet
- Take plenty of sunscreen and water with you
- Never operate a personal watercraft or boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If you or your loved one suffers an injury while on the water this summer that is caused by someone else’s negligence, call our office. Let one of our experienced personal injury lawyers review your case and see if you have a potential claim for damages. Hopefully, you will follow the dock and boating safety guidelines. However, accidents happen, even to the safest people.
Call our Birmingham injury firm and talk to one of our skilled injury lawyers right away. They can review your case and answer your questions. The consultation is free, and you will pay nothing unless your case is resolved.