So you’ve packed up the cooler, your sunscreen and your camera in order to have an excellent day out on the open water. With the better summer weather, long holidays and the opportunity to soak up some sun, many people are heading out on the open waters in and around British Columbia in order to relax and spend some time with friends and family.
However, if you’re not careful, you may be involved in a serious boating accident that could compromise your ability to return to work or enjoy the remainder of the summer at all. Safety tips can help you have a wonderful and injury free day.
Some of the most important steps to take in order to prevent a boating accident have to happen before you even board the boat. Use a launching checklist to make sure that all the machinery inside the boat is working and will help you in the event of an emergency. Adequate supplies should be on board for every single person. While you certainly hope that you don’t need to use lifejackets or safety gear, they should always be fully checked, readily accessible, and presented to everyone on the boat prior to launching. In the heat of the moment, being able to react quickly and know where to find this information could save lives.
Never Drink and Boat
One of the most important tips to keep in mind as you hit a boat is to never drink and boat. Drinking and boating can increase the odds significantly that you will be injured. Boating under the influence can also boost your chances of a fatal injury on the open water significantly.
Ensure You Can Always Hear Emergency Alerts
Make sure that the emergency radio onboard is working properly and that it is turned on at all times. Crash warnings or radio warnings over the emergency radio can alert you to problems and give you a better opportunity to make informed decisions sooner rather than later.
Watch Speed and Passing Other Boats
Always pay attention to your speed and monitor passing safety. Although it’s certainly a great opportunity to kick back and relax when you’re out on a boat whether it’s yours or someone else’s, always pay attention to other boats on the water and avoid speeding behavior. Excessive speed can increase your chances of a collision course, injuring or killing people onboard.
Maintain All Boat Details
The boat should also be properly maintained at all times. The boat must be in good working order before you take it out on the water with any passengers. If any person is killed or injured as a result of inappropriate maintenance, this could cause serious problems for you and even lead to personal injury claims. Never overload the boat either. Taking on too many passengers or overloading the boat without necessary gear could increase your chances of capsizing and individuals drowning.
Make sure that you have enough life jackets on board for every person who will be on the boat. Having a boating safety overview before you take out on the water can advise people who are not familiar with the boating process about some of the biggest risks and what you can do to decrease the chances of being involved in a serious vehicle accident.
If you have been involved in a boating accident already, getting legal help from a knowledgeable B.C. personal injury lawyer is the next step to recovering damages. The time after a wreck can easily seem confusing, but having a lawyer walk you through your next steps could be crucial for helping you put your life back together.