There’s nothing better about Summer in South Florida than taking to the water for some fun in the sun. With the natural beauty of our subtropical paradise, thousands are drawn south each summer to bask in the sun and warmth. If you’re drawn to Florida’s warm waters this summer, boating is a great way to explore what our corner of the world has to offer.
Being out on the water as exhilarating, freeing experience as it is dangerous. If you’re planning on boating this summer, here are 5 boating safety tips you should know!
Tip #1: Do Your Research
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and book the first boat available for a fishing trip or a party on the water. However, this can lead to serious consequences if the skipper is inexperienced or the proper safety measures aren’t in place. Do your research before hiring a boating company to make sure they’re reputable. Look for rating and reviews from previous renters. Be sure to check for valid boat licenses. Florida also requires boat rental companies to provide state-approved boating safety courses before renting their vessels.
Tip #2: Pay Attention to the Weather
As fun as summer can be in Florida, the weather can be unpredictable. Heavy winds and choppy waters can turn your fun-filled day at sea into a dangerous situation. Pay attention to water conditions and weather reports before you rent any boat or water vessel. Just because someone is willing to rent you a boat doesn’t mean it’s safe to be out on the water. Use your best judgement and don’t ignore the signs of dangerous turns in the weather.
Tip #3: Pay Attention to Safety Instructions
Florida’s waters can be unpredictable. That’s why it’s important for boating companies and crews to have safety plans and measures in place in case of an emergency. Be sure to follow them carefully, even if they may seem annoying because they are there to keep you alive and safe. Never jump off of a moving boat, stay clear of propellers when in the water even if the vessel is stopped and anchored. Other safety instructions to pay attention to include what to do if someone is injured or if the boat takes on water or is otherwise rendered immobile. Be sure any boat you rent has means of communicating with the shore or emergency services and other safety measures like fire extinguishers and life jackets.
Tip #4: No Drunk Driving on the Water!
Road rules translate to the water as well. While there’s no designated lanes or traffic light systems, it’s important to be courteous of other vessels, especially large shipping boats or cruise liners. Drinking while operating a boat can impair your judgement and ability to operate the vessel safely. These risks are increased for inexperienced boaters. Just like on land, if you are caught operating boating under the influence, it can carry hefty fines and other legal consequences. Boating accidents caused by alcohol impairment are even more dangerous because of the risk of drowning and difficulty for emergency responders to reach affected boats.
Tip #5: Look Out for Smaller Vessels
One of the leading causes of boating accidents in Florida is lack of visibility. The size and shape of vessels on the water vary greatly, so be vigilant and continuously scan the water for kayakers, jet skiers, and smaller boats. This is especially important in high traffic areas like intercoastal waters or near launch zones. Share the water just as you would share the road!
If you are involved in a boating accident or collision, knowing what to do is important. Here’s how a boating accident attorney in Tamarac can help.
What to Do if There’s an Accident
If you are involved in a boating accident caused by negligence on the side of the boating company, you may be entitled to compensation. A boating accident attorney in Tamarac can review your case and determine if you have rights to make a claim. Injury claims in Tamarac caused by improper maintenance of the vessel, lack of proper safety measures, or errors of the skipper may be subject to the liability of the rental company.
Cameron Law Group is experienced in handling boating accidents and other injury claims in Tamarac and across South Florida. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you get the money you deserve.