We have included several articles in our blog about the risks that boating can present. Operating a motorized vessel is a huge responsibility that should not be taken lightly. But what about non-motorized boats? These smaller, man-powered vessels are rarely considered when it comes to boating safety. The truth of the matter is this: Non-motorized boats can present just as many dangers as their more powerful cousins.
Here are just two examples.
Christopher Gromley, 18, booked a kayaking trip with a route that would take him across calm, open water. Gromley’s trip actually took him across rough waters and his boat capsized. Because Gromley was not wearing a wet suit, as they were not recommended by the trip’s advertisers, he died of hypothermia.
Tyler Madoff, 15, signed up for a guided kayak tour in beautiful Hawaii. The teenager was washed out to sea during the trip and ultimately died. In both of these cases, the kayakers ran across unexpected dangers.
The lesson to be learned here is that no matter how a trip is advertised or what you expect to encounter on your route, you should always be prepared for an emergency. Each time you enter your kayak, canoe or rowboat, be sure that you have on a properly-fitted life vest. Know what you will do should inclement weather sneak up on you. Tell friends and family where you are going and how long you plan to be gone. 75 percent of people who died in kayaking accidents were not wearing life jackets, according to the American Canoe Association.
Do not assume that a non-motorized boat is safer than one with an engine. The only thing it is missing is an external power source. A kayak or canoe should still be respected as the vehicle it is. Situations can turn on a dime. The unexpected can occur in a moment. The more prepared you are, the less risk of injury or, worse, death, you carry. Be prepared with a plan before you paddle away onto the open water.
If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of boating accident, please contact our offices today. Our personal injury attorneys are experienced defending people in these types of cases, and we are here to help you get the compensation you are entitled to. Call today for your free initial consultation and let us review the details of your unique case. We are here for you.