Memorial Day is a day to give thanks to those who have served while spending time with those we care about. For some, Memorial Day is spent traveling to see their families. For others, it marks the start of the summer season. Boating is a popular summer activity that has become increasingly hazardous in recent years, due in part by the increasing numbers of inexpecrienced boaters, as well as excessive alcohol consumption while boating.
We encourage our readers to enjoy your boating weekends, but to do it safely. According to the San Francisco Gate, close to 25% of boating injuries occur on the extended weekends of Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day.
Please consider the following tips by Discover Boating on how to enjoy a safe boating weekend at the beach:
- Know the weather: Bad weather can lead to your boat getting flipped or getting pulled too far into the water. Only get on if the weather is clear.
- Know how to swim: Many people jump on the boat without considering what they would do if they get tossed off the boat. Getting tossed off the boat is a possibility so make sure you are a proficient swimmer.
- Use lifejackets: Whether you know how to swim or not, lifejackets are vital while boating. You can’t always know how the waves will be. Both good and bad swimmers should always be wearing them.
- Designate an assistant skipper: At least one person on board the boat should know how the boat operates and all of its safety guidelines. If something were to happen to the navigator, the assistant skipper can lead those on the boat in a proper action plan.
- Avoid alcohol: Not only does alcohol impair you judgement and ability to swim safely, the effects of alcohol are increased with more sun exposure.
- Use common sense: Operate your boat at a safe speed, take your time on turns, and don’t go near other larger boats.
As we’ve written previously, boating safely requires participants to actually “think” about safety issues in advance, including the dangers of boating while intoxicated. Enjoy your boating activities, but remeber to practice safety measures while doing so.
Contact our Washington, D.C. personal injury attorneys if you have questions about your injuries due to a boating incident.