How to Have a Safe Time on the Water
For residents throughout the Central Valley, spending time on the water is a beloved summer pastime. Even for those who have been boating from a young age, it’s essential to understand what can be done to improve the safety of everyone aboard your vessel. Here are four tips you and your family can use today.
1. Always Wear a Coast Guard-Approved Life Jacket
Every year, people sustain lifelong traumatic injuries or die after falling overboard when they weren’t wearing a life jacket. Because of this, it is imperative that all individuals on the boat wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Not only is this the law in California but it can be instrumental in saving lives.
2. Don’t Drink and Boat
Just as you shouldn’t drink and drive, it’s also important to refrain from drinking and boating. Not only does alcohol consumption impair your ability to make sound decisions, but it can also contribute to accidents. Furthermore, alcohol use before and during any water activities can increase drowning risks, so it's important to only be out on the water when sober.
3. Be Aware of “No Wake” Areas and Other Boating Courtesies
Everyone on the water should be aware of “no wake” areas, which are usually indicated by buoys or other markers. These areas are typically near shorelines, docks, and swimmer-only areas. When passing through these zones, you must slow your vessel to create minimal waves or wakes. Additionally, it’s important to be courteous to other boaters by not speeding, making excessive noise, or littering in the water.
4. Enroll in a Boater Safety Class
Most states, including California, require boaters under 16 to obtain a license in order to operate a vessel. However, even if your state doesn’t have this requirement, it’s still a good idea to enroll in a boater safety class. These classes provide individuals with the skills and knowledge necessary for operating a boat safely and effectively.
By implementing these tips, exercising caution, and taking the necessary steps to protect yourself and others while boating, you can have a safe and fun summer.
The team at Fowler | Helsel | Vogt aims to protect the individuals who sustain injuries in boating accidents by holding those responsible accountable for damages. If you’ve been involved in a boating accident, call (559) 900-1280 or fill out this short form to discuss your legal options.