Boating season is here. It doesn’t matter if you are a novice to the water or have years of experience when it comes to safety. Knowing how to keep yourself, your passengers and others on the water safe is important.
If you have hours of experience behind the controls, think of this article as a refresher. If you’re new to the sport, or hobby, use the article as a guideline when it comes to boat safety.
1. Pay Attention to the Weather
Keep an eye on the weather as you approach the day of your outing. Take the time to check the weather report again before you head out. While news reporters are a great source of information, don’t fail to trust what you see and feel.
If the forecasters are calling for a clear day but you see ominous clouds building, chances are it’s safer to stay off the water until the skies clear.
2. Common Sense Is Your Ally
Use your common sense when operating a vessel of any type. Stay alert, avoid steering your boat into other watercraft, stay sober and be respectful of objects in the water. Some of the worst accidents occur because of recklessness and a general disregard for safety.
3. Have a Plan
Someone should always know what you plan on doing. A float plan can be given to someone at the local marina or a trusted family member. A basic float plan will include your name and address, the names and contact information for all passengers, your trip itinerary and the types of communication devices that are located on the vessel.
4. Use Life Jackets
Most people who are killed in boating accidents were not wearing personal flotation devices, a.k.a. life jackets. You should have one for yourself and each passenger on board your boat. Stow some extras away just in case you have more passengers than you had planned on.
5. Take a Course
A boating course is just as important as having gone through driver’s education before you got behind the wheel of a car. The state you live in may dictate that you take such a course or it may not; California does not require it. Either way, take one because it is the safe thing to do, not because it may or may not be the law.
6. Contact the Coast Guard
Many people don’t know that the US Coast Guard offers a free safety check for boaters. They will come aboard to conduct a complimentary evaluation. Once the inspection is complete, they will offer you solutions and tips to help ensure your safety.
Boating is a great way to enjoy a warm day. Getting out on the water is not only entertaining, but relaxing If you want to enjoy your time on the water without fearing for your safety, follow the tips above and find others.
Speak to a San Luis Obispo Boat Accident Attorney Today
If you do happen to be involved in a boat accident in San Luis Obispo, reach out to our experienced team of personal injury attorneys. We will review the details of your accident and advise you of your legal rights and options. Call our office today to schedule a free case evaluation.