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Boating Safety This Summer

As the warm weather rolls in, the boats roll out. Nothing quite says summer like taking the boat out on the water with family and friends.  In and around the Upstate, there are several lakes with the popular local spots including Jocassee, Keowee, and Hartwell. Whether you are out engaging in water sports, fishing, or even having a casual boat ride, it’s important to follow proper precautions. We understand that accidents do happen, and our firm is here to help with some boating safety tips in order to reduce those risks.

Safety On Boats

Boating is a fun summer activity, however, if boaters fail to pay attention to their surroundings, serious injuries or even death may occur. Boating accidents are more common than you may think. In fact, In 2020, the Coast Guard reported 5,265 accidents with 767 deaths, 3,191 injuries, and $62.5 million in property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents. A fun day on the water can end up costing you a lot more than just a sun burnt face. During the summer months of May – August, 62 percent of boating deaths occur. The most common reason accidents occur is due to operator inattention or in other words, negligence.

Using Common Courtesy

Practicing situational awareness at all times is key to avoiding accidents. Take all necessary precautions to avoid a collision, keeping in mind the weather, boat traffic, and other vessels’ constraints. In order to avoid a collision, such action should be conducted quickly and at a respectable distance from other vessels. Operators must also maintain a proper look out constantly using both sight and hearing. It’s crucial to also maintain a safe speed. A safe speed will vary depending on several factors such as water conditions, wind, navigational hazards, traffic density, and distance from shores.

Practicing Safety

In order to practice proper boating safety, follow this checklist: First, have a boat safety kit that includes life jackets, fire extinguishers, visual and sound signaling devices, and throwable flotation devices. Secondly, follow proper anchoring and docking procedures. Thirdly, don’t overload your boat with people or equipment. It’s important to stay below the boats weight capacity as well as equally distributing weight among the boat. Finally, use common sense on the water. This includes checking the weather beforehand, having all proper safety gear on board, and never boating under the influence.

What To Do in An Accident

When you are involved in a boating accident the very first thing you should do is check if anyone is injured. Next, make sure nobody has fallen off the boat or is under water. Once everyone is safe, take pictures of the boat and any equipment damaged.  After you’ve received initial medical treatment, you may start to worry about injuries and health care bills. That’s when it’s time to call the Philpot Law Firm!

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