Tips for Boating Safety
Florida is home to some of the most beautiful and diverse waterways and beaches in the world. From the winding rivers in the Everglades to the popular shores of Key West, there is something for everyone. As a result, boating safety is a topic of paramount importance for everyone who call this beautiful state home.
Unfortunately, the U.S. Coast Guard reports that boating accidents were responsible for more than 2,500 injuries and over 600 deaths in 2014 alone. These accidents cost an astonishing $39 million in damages. To put these figures in perspective, there were 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered vessels, a 10 percent increase from the year before.
Boating Safety Considerations
Under Florida law, anyone born in 1988 or after must complete a boating course before legally operating a motorized boat. Furthermore, no person under 14 years old is permitted to operate a boat or personal watercraft on Florida waters.
To ensure you and your loved ones stay safe on the water, consider the following safety tips:
- Wear life jackets and require any passengers to do the same
- Check the weather forecast before you get on the water
- Keep an emergency kit in your vessel. Stock it with flashlights, flares, batteries, first-aid supplies, and enough water and non-perishable food to get you through three days
- Keep a marine fire extinguisher on board
- Don’t drink and drive on the water. BUI (boating under the influence) is not only dangerous, it’s a crime that can be just as serious and deadly as DUI
- Maintain a safe distance between your vessel and other watercraft, swimmers, and objects in the water
Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, it’s important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your lawyer can inform you of your options and help you determine the next steps in your case. Call Emerson Straw, PL at (727) 821-1500 to speak to an attorney about your case.