8 Tips for Safe Boating this Summer
Now that the weather is getting warmer, many residents of Raleigh, Durham and Eastern North Carolina are thinking about boating and getting out on the water. The active season for recreational boating in North Carolina runs from April through October with the most activity from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Whether you regularly take your family to Falls Lake, Jordan Lake or down to the coast, it is important to keep in mind boating safety while you are out on the water and to remain alert to potential boating accidents.
Boat owners and operators must act responsibly, ensuring that their vessels are safe for summertime boating and that they have the training to take those vessels out onto the water.
If another boat operator’s negligence causes harm to you or your family member, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. We want to highlight eight tips for safe boating this summer.
1. Never Drink and Boat
According to a checklist from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association on safe boating, consuming alcohol while you are out on the water may even be more hazardous than drinking before you get behind the wheel of a car. According to that checklist, the probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved.
Boating accidents can happen without warning. Help to prevent a dangerous boating accident by leaving your alcoholic beverages on the shore.
2. Be Smart About the Weather
Before you head out on your boat, you should always turn to the TV, radio, or internet to see if the weather is safe for being on the water.
3. Use Proper Boating Equipment
- A Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each person aboard the boat;
- Fire extinguisher;
- Operable boat lights;
- Extra batteries;
- Emergency supplies in a floating pouch, including a cellphone, flares, and first-aid materials; and
- Communication and signal equipment, like a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB). It’s a good idea to put your cell phone in a waterproof container that floats
A lack of preparation by the boat operator can turn a minor accident into an emergency situation.
4. Take a Boating Safety Course
5. Know How to Swim
You can find swimming classes in and around the Triangle area. Some are offered by organizations like the American Red Cross, while community centers and private organizations also may offer swim lessons.
6. Always Inform Another of Your Float Plan
- Your name and contact information;
- The names and contact information for all passengers on your boat;
- Registration information for your boat, including its make and model;
- Itinerary for your boating trip.
You should provide this information to a family member who is not going on the trip or to an employee at a local marina. In the event that there is an emergency while you are on the water, another party on land will have the relevant information to help keep you and your passengers safe.
7. Follow Navigation Rules
- Do not allow passengers to sit in parts of the boat that are not designed as seating;
- Do not stop, start, or turn suddenly;
- Always maintain the slow-no-wake speed posted.
8. Get Your Boat Checked
Contact a Raleigh Boating Accident Lawyer
Common accidents while boating are preventable if you take safety steps. However, you cannot control the actions of other boaters. At Hardison & Cochran, Attorneys at Law we know how devastating a boating accident can be to a family. If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident caused by another’s fault, one of our dedicated accident lawyers in Raleigh can assist with your claim. Contact Hardison & Cochran today for more information.