Warm weather means fishing, swimming, tanning, and boating here in Virginia. With added volume on the waterways, it is important to refresh yourself on water safety before you leave the dock. Small mistakes can lead to big problems in crowded water.
We have 5 tips that will you keep your boating experiences safer and more enjoyable:
- Know the law about life jackets. Even in states with no life jacket laws, the U.S. Coast Guard requires that children under 13 on moving boats wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket, according to the BoatUS Foundation.
- Watch the weather.Although boat safety and communications technology has come a long way, if you get caught out on the water in rough weather, you may be risking your life.
- Don’t drink and boat! Drinking and boating can dramatically increase the odds that you’ll be injured. Boating under the influence increases the odds of a boating fatality by 34 percent, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. It’s also against the law.
- Don’t turn down your emergency radio. This lesson comes from a real-life tragedy: The owners of a Philadelphia duck boat settled a wrongful death suit for $15 million after two tourists were killed in a crash. The boat’s first mate had turned down his emergency radio and missed crash warnings.
- If you’re renting a boat, read your liability waiver carefully. If you are renting a boat, you’re likely to be asked to sign a liability waiver. Whether or not you actually read it, you’ll probably be bound by it if anything goes wrong. Make sure you know what you’re agreeing to.
Any injury that occurs on or with a boat, ship, ferry, wave runner, or Jet Ski is considered a boating accident. This includes slip and fall accidents, collisions with swimmers, and falls overboard. If you’ve been hurt in a boating accident, contact the law offices of Collier & Collier right away at 1-804-364-5200 or toll free at 1-877-825-0543.