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Safety Tips for Water Skiers, Wakeboarders, and Tubers

Boating Accidents

Aerial view of man wakeboarding on lake at sunset. Water skiing on lake behind a boat.

The temperate weather in northern Florida creates the perfect environment for water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing. These popular water sports can offer a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends, but it is important to take all available safety precautions. 

A Tallahassee water sport accident lawyer knows all too well that it only takes a single moment for one person’s irresponsible behavior to cause an accident with serious injuries. To help prevent these tragedies, we offer some safety tips for water skiers, wakeboarders, and tubers. 

Start with the Proper Safety Equipment

It doesn’t matter how strong you are or how good you are at swimming. If you suffer a serious injury or get knocked unconscious, you have a good chance of drowning unless you’re wearing the right life vest. For waters skiing, the U.S. Coast Guard suggests a Type III floatation device which is less likely to interfere with a skier’s actions than some other devices. 

It goes without saying that the boat you will be using to tow skiers, boards, and tubes should be in good operating condition. But many people forget to check the condition of the tow rope. Before starting out, make sure the rope is not frayed in any spots. 

Practice Safe Habits on the Water

It is a good idea to have at least three people in your party when you are water skiing, wakeboarding, or tubing behind a motorboat. While one person operates the boat and one skims along the surface using their equipment of choice, the third person acts as a lookout. The lookout has the job of watching the skier, boarder, or tuber to make sure they are safe and to relay information to the boat operator. 

It is a wise practice to review some hand signals in advance. For instance, a water skier might signal with a thumbs down signal to request a decrease in speed. It is also important to know what to do when a skier or boarder falls. Remember that the boat changes direction, the person on the tube, wakeboard, or skis will usually swing out in a wider arc. A Tallahassee water sport accident lawyer knows how critical it is to avoid putting the water skier, wakeboarder, or tuber in a hazardous position. 

Know the Area

Unlike roads, where the hazards are usually visible from some distance away, waterways can hide a variety of dangerous conditions. You need to know about the potential problems in advance to plot the safest course for the day.

For instance, sections of the Apalachiola River system offer good places to enjoy water skis, wakeboards, and tubes, but it is important to stay well away from the shoreline in spots due to hidden rocks. Realize, too, that it is usually impossible to know whether the drivers of other watercraft are paying attention or if they’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, so treat them as hazards as well. Try to give them a wide berth and be ready to take evasive action.

A Tallahassee Accident Lawyer Could Help If an Accident Occurs While Water Skiing, Wakeboarding, or Tubing

Unfortunately, all your effort to stay safe while water skiing, wakeboarding or tubing may fail to protect you from someone else’s negligence on the water. If you or a loved one suffer injuries in an accident that could have been prevented, you may be entitled to legal relief. 

In addition to seeking appropriate medical care, it may be a good idea to talk to a knowledgeable Tallahassee injury lawyer soon after the accident while evidence is most readily available to demonstrate the causes of the accident. A legal recovery could make it easier to get back to normal when safety efforts fail. Contact us to learn more.

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