There is little room for doubt: Florida is the boating capital of the world, boasting the most registered boats in the U.S., according to Statista. Additionally, thousands of out-of-state boats take advantage of Florida waterways on any given day. So if you’re planning a boating outing, there are no better choices than some of Florida’s premier boating destinations:
- The Florida Keys and Key West
- Tampa/St. Petersburg
- Jacksonville/St. Augustine
- Pensacola/Fort Walton Beach/Destin
- Fort Lauderdale/Miami
Of course, boating is great fun: water skiing, wake surfing, slalom skiing, barefoot skiing, hydrofoiling, wakeboarding, wakeskating, kneeboarding, and tubing are all popular boating sports. Nonetheless, the fun can turn into tragedy if boaters don’t take important precautions. If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed in a watercraft or boating accident, let the Florida personal injury lawyers at Searcy Denney help you with your insurance and legal claims so that you can tend to your injuries.
What Are the Top Five Safe Watercraft and Boating Safety Tips?
Don’t let carelessness ruin your outing, vacation, or even your life. A few simple tips can make the difference between a lifetime of memories and a tragedy. The five safety tips you should never ignore are:
Yes, they’re uncomfortable. Yes, they cover up the body you’ve worked all winter to show off. And yes, your likelihood of drowning is substantially greater without them. So do anything you have to do to make everyone onboard wears one on the water. If you’re in charge, tell your passengers they’re not allowed on your watercraft without one. If you’re just a passenger, tell everyone you will not board unless everyone is wearing one. Think of life jackets as the seatbelts of watercraft.
No Drinking and Driving
This rule applies to boaters just as it applies to drivers, and the consequences are the same. Alcohol use is a leading contributor to fatal boating accidents, as are illegal drugs. Death, serious injury, or, if you’re lucky, just some time in jail and heavy fines, along with other drunk driving penalties, are what awaits violators.
Take a Driving Safety Course
A very small percentage of boating deaths occur on watercraft where the driver has received a nationally-approved safety education certificate for boating. A safety course may even qualify you for reduced insurance rates. One option to consider is safeboatingamerica.com which offers both boating and Jet Ski certifications and courses. Another helpful resource is the Safe Boating Council where you can find additional courses and reading material.
Do Not Speed and Follow the Rules
Excessive speed and improper lookout are common reasons for boating accidents. Understand the local laws of the waterway and follow them. Be aware of traffic volume and proximity to hazards like shoals, rocks, or floating objects. Do not create wakes in marina areas.
Be Aware of Weather Forecasts
Weather on waterways can change rapidly, and watercraft are particularly susceptible to high winds and waves. Be prepared. If there is inclement weather in the forecast, stay close to someplace safe to tie up.
Contact the Florida Personal Injury Lawyers if You’ve Been Involved in a Boat or Watercraft Accident
Boating and watersports are fun but potentially dangerous. There are only a few safety precautions standing between you and the fun you’re going to have on the water. In any event, If you or a loved one have been involved in a boating or watercraft accident, the Florida personal injury lawyers can help with your insurance and legal claims. Contact us to schedule your free consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, with no risk to you.