What could be better on a hot summer’s day than to be out on the water? Boating is a great summer pastime to enjoy with family and friends. Whether you like to fish, jet ski, or just enjoy the view from the water, boating can be a fun and relaxing way to celebrate summer.
Unfortunately, if a boating accident occurs, a perfect day can quickly take a turn for the worst. Boating accidents take many forms, including collisions with another craft, collisions with land, docks, or other structures, fires, sinking or explosions. There are, however, simple safety measures that should always be practiced.
Boating Safety Tips
- Take a safety course. As of January 1, 2020, New York State required that all boating operators receive a boating safety certificate by passing a boater safety course. The participant is then provided with a New York Boater Card. It is a simple process, and the course can be taken online.
- Wear a life jacket. Even the best of swimmers should always wear a properly fitted life jacket. A life jacket will provide buoyancy if you unexpectedly find yourself in the water, provide buoyancy if you purposely jump into the water to save someone, or provide buoyancy when you are no longer able to keep yourself afloat due to fatigue or injury.
- Avoid alcohol. Alcohol and drug use is a leading cause of boating accidents. Either can cause operator inattentiveness and excessive speed.
- Always be aware of your surroundings. This includes a change in the weather, obstacles in the water, and other boats in your area.
During this past July 4th holiday, a man died after jumping into Saratoga Lake from a boat, and being struck by another vessel. investigation concluded that the accident could have been prevented with driver and passenger attentiveness. After the accident, a local boater commented, “It [boating] can be a lot of fun for families, but it is also something that needs to be highly respected.” He continued, “Sometimes people are not paying attention…and they’re not aware of what is going on around them.”
With over 2,000 boating accident injuries reported each year, and with 600 of these resulting in death, taking the correct proactive steps can assure an enjoyable and safe day on the water.
Injured in a Boating Accident? Call Injured 914.
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident or other accident on the water in Westchester County, call Injured 914 today at (914) 315-7101. Our experienced legal team can help you understand your legal options and file an injury claim if another party’s negligence was involved.