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15 Boating Safety Tips to Keep You Safe This Summer

Las Vegas residents are hardly strangers to the blistering heat waves of the summer months. When temperatures start breaching the 100s, many families start packing their bags and planning weekend or week-long boating adventures to escape the scorching heat and dry weather. However, boating can be a very dangerous hobby, especially when reckless, inebriated, or inexperienced captains take the wheel and blatantly ignore best safety practices. Although you can’t control the actions of others, there are a few safety tips you can follow to stay safe this summer season.

According to a report released by the Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety, there are over 4,000 serious boating accidents and approximately 660 watercraft fatalities reported each year. These incidents are commonly caused by:

  • Operator inexperience
  • Operator inattention
  • Machinery failure
  • Improper lookout
  • Alcohol use
  • Navigation rules violations
  • Excessive speed
  • Poor weather
  • Hazardous waters

You can’t take chances when it comes to your health and safety. To be a responsible skipper, you need to follow state and federal boating laws, avoid preventable hazards, and be prepared to handle unexpected scenarios.

The attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson have been representing the rights of boating accident victims and their families since 1983. Each summer, we personally witness the personal, legal, and financial repercussions associated with serious boating incidents. To help you and your loved ones stay safe this season, our attorneys have compiled the following list of safety tips:

  1. Research the local regulations and navigation rules.
  2. Schedule a monthly maintenance routine with a professional – especially during summer.
  3. Pay attention to weather alerts and stay docked if it’s unsafe to cruise the water.
  4. Dress properly for the weather.
  5. Pack water bottles to stay hydrated.
  6. Make sure someone on shore knows where you’re going and when you plan to return.
  7. Never imbibe or use recreational substances if you’re planning to operate a watercraft.
  8. Create a Float Plan that includes: your itinerary, available communication methods, boat registration information, and the names and phone numbers of those present in your party.
  9. Abide by the boat’s capacity plate to make sure your vehicle isn’t dangerously overloaded.
  10. Make sure everyone on the boat (including any pets!) are wearing U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets – this policy applies to all parties, including experienced swimmers.
  11. Operate your vehicle defensively while keeping an eye out for summers, boaters, paddlers, etc.
  12. Don’t allow your passengers to ride on seatbacks, gunwales, or outside protective railings.
  13. Return to shore if the water gets too choppy or the weather takes a turn for the worse.
  14. Sound your horn if visibility is poor or a passenger goes overboard; this notifies other boaters of your presence and that there is a situation.
  15. Stick to a safe speed, especially after you launch your boat, and always follow buoys and markers.

You can download the U.S. Coast Guard’s Float Plan template from their website. You can also use your phone to download mobile apps that will email your plan directly to friends, family, and other onshore parties.

Injured in a Boating Accident? Call Bernstein & Poisson Today

In Nevada, boaters are legally responsible for operating their watercraft safely and in consideration of others. If you or a loved one has been injured by a negligent boater in a vehicle collision, jet ski accident, or drowning incident, contact the lawyers at Bernstein & Poisson today. Our experienced and aggressive litigators can investigate your case, represent your legal interests, and help you pursue monetary compensation that accounts for your existing and potential medical expenses, lost wages, loss of future earning capacity, property damage, and more. With over 30 years of legal experience to our name, you can trust Bernstein & Poisson to provide you with the personalized legal services and zealous advocacy your case deserves. We offer 24/7 legal services, so call today!

Contact Bernstein & Poisson at (702) 602-8869 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. If your condition prevents you from coming to our office, we can hold your appointment at your home or hospital room.