Boating Safety Tips

According to The Miami Herald, in an article posted to their website on June 4th, two men were injured in a fishing boat accident off the coast of Rhode Island. Reports say the boat ran out of fuel and was later pushed onto some rocks by 12-foot waves. Fortunately, the men only sustained minor injuries.

With such easy access to water, Floridians often take advantage of boating in the ocean and on the state's many lakes. While boating is a great source of fun and relaxation, it can also be quite dangerous when safety precautions aren't taken.

As summer begins, it important for all boaters to keep the following tips in mind before heading out onto the water:

  • Make sure lifejackets and vests are always available, and that all passengers know where they are located at all times.
  • Children and adults who don't know how to swim should always wear a life jacket to prevent drownings in the case of an accident.
  • Do not drink or consume drugs while operating a boat. Boating under the influence is just as dangerous as driving under the influence.
  • Make sure the boat is properly loaded before setting off.
  • Make sure the boat has sufficient fuel before leaving the dock.
  • Be conscious of the weather. Make sure you check the forecast before heading out on the water. Avoid going out on the boat if you see dark clouds, high winds, or if it appears that rain might be approaching. Also be cautious of choppy waters.
  • Make sure to get your boat checked for any potential mechanical issues on a regular basis to avoid malfunctions while on the water.
  • If you've never boated before, consider taking a boating safety course to get familiar with operating the boat.
  • Designate someone to take over operating the boat in the event the main driver gets sick, injured or wants to take a break from manning the boat.
  • Last but not least, use common sense. If something doesn't seem right, then it's probably not. Be cautious and careful at all times, and steer clear of areas that don't appear safe.

Here's to a fun and safe summer out on the water!

Categories: Boating Accidents

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