Any smart boater knows that a boating excursion requires careful preparation and planning. Heading underway on a boat is not something you do on a whim. As such, it’s a good idea to have a pre-departure checklist to ensure you have everything you need for a safe boating trip.
Pre-Departure Checklist for a Boating Trip
Boating can be a dangerous activity when unprepared. According to the United States Coast Guard, boating accidents caused 658 deaths and 2,629 injuries in 2017. However, there is every reason to believe that your boating trip will be a safe one when you take the following precautions:
- Check the weather before heading out. Weather on the water can change in an instant. Make sure to check local weather forecasts before heading out, and cancel your boating trip if bad weather is predicted.
- Always bring enough life jackets for all passengers, and have everyone wear them when the boat is operating. Practicing proper life jacket safety is the number one rule of boating. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that 76% of boating-related deaths in 2017 were due to drowning, and 84% of those who died were not wearing a life jacket.
- Never drink and boat. Many boating accidents are caused by intoxication. Alcohol and other intoxicating substances affect vision, balance, and coordination—all vital senses to have on a boat.
- Check all of your equipment before heading underway. Turn all motorized components on to ensure they’re working properly, make sure you have enough gas, and ensure there is no physical damage to the boat that can cause a leak.
Injured in a Boating Accident? We’re Here to Help
The sad truth is that many people will not follow these safety guidelines, and may even deliberately participate in dangerous activities while boating, such as drinking or speeding.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, our Jackson personal injury attorneys are here to protect your rights.