As more boaters head onto the water, there is greater potential for accident and injury. Think of crowded waters like you would think of crowded streets. Just like in your car, there are safety measures to be taken when you decide to go boating. It’s equally as important to remember that it can often take emergency services longer to respond on the water than on the road.
There were 130 recorded boating accidents in the state last year. Of those incidents, 23 proved fatal, according to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. Here are some things you can do before and during your time on the water to help ensure your safety.
In North Carolina, you are required to take a certification course through the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. This is true only if you will be operating a motor of 10 or more horse power. You can learn more at the free courses offered at the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
Before you go out on the water, put together a float plan. This plan should include information about where you are headed, how many times and where you will be stopping, and when you will be returning. Give this float plan to a friend or family member who will be staying behind. In the case of an accident or other incident, the plan will help authorities come up with a search and rescue plan.
It is required by law to keep enough life vests on your boat so that each passenger has one to put on. Any person on your vessel who is under 12 needs to have a life vest on at all times. Even though there is no law that dictates that adults wear vests, it is the safest move you can make. The majority of drowning cases occurred because people did not have time to put their vests on.
Make sure that your boat has at least one fire extinguisher aboard. Also make sure that you have an on-board radio and, if you are carrying a cell phone, an extra battery. Before you leave shore, check the weather conditions for the day as well as wave heights so you know what to expect.
At the end of the day, you are responsible not only for yourself but for your passengers as well. Stay sober if you will be driving the boat, and follow the tips above. Many boating accidents can be prevented if you stay mindful.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, contact our offices today. Our experienced attorneys are here to help you get the compensation you deserve. Call now.