There is nothing quite like spending a day out on the water. For many Floridians in Jacksonville, boating is more than just a fun afternoon; it is a way of life. However, every year hundreds of people lose their lives in often preventable boating accidents.
The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine wants you and your family have a safe, enjoyable boating experience. The following safety tips to avoid boating accidents in Jacksonville, FL will help you stay safe on the water.
Most Common Types of Boating Accident Causes in Jacksonville, FL
According to the United States Coast Guard, the leading cause of boating accidents is human error. It is critical to ensure you are well educated on how to operate your boat before you hit the water.
Other common causes of boating injuries include:
- Alcohol usage
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Machinery failure
- Collision with another boat
- Collision with a fixed object
- Excessive speed
- Failure to follow navigation rules
- Hazardous water or weather conditions
Safety Tips for Boating in Jacksonville, FL
A boating accident can turn a fun afternoon on the water into a tragedy. Use these tips to avoid boating accidents in Jacksonville, FL and protect the lives of your family and other boaters.
Check the Weather Before You Set Sail
Dangerous water conditions are one of the top ten contributing factors to boating accidents. Before you head out, make sure to check the weather conditions.
Weather conditions are often shared on local news channels, or you can visit the weather.gov website. Smaller boats should pay careful attention to “small craft advisories,” which indicate high winds or conditions that make it dangerous to boat in smaller crafts.
Wear a Life Vest
According to a United States Coast Guard report, the number one cause of death in a boating accident is drowning. In 2017, 449 people died in recreational boating accidents due to drowning. Three hundred and seventy of those victims were not wearing life jackets.
Make sure you wear a life vest at all times and ensure your boat has enough live vests for all passengers.
Human error is the number one cause of boating accidents. Before you head out for a day on the water, make sure you are well educated on the features of your vessel, including how to operate the boat and its safety features.
Follow Navigational Rules
Much like traffic laws, navigational rules are designed to keep everyone on the water safe. Pay attention to no wake zones, look for marking for marine features, and observe speed limits on the water.
Do Not Drink While Operating a Boat
Alcohol usage while boating resulting in the deaths of 102 persons in 2017. Just like drinking and driving, boating while drinking is extremely dangerous. The person operating the boat should never consume alcohol, and passengers should not drink to excess. Limiting alcohol intake ensures everyone is capable of reacting quickly if an accident occurs.
Have a Float Plan
Before you set off for a day on the water, make sure someone on shore knows your float plan. This information could be critical in locating you if something goes wrong.
Your float plan should include:
- Where you plan to go
- How long you expect to be gone
- The name, address, and phone number of all passengers and their emergency contact
- Boat type and registration information, including length, make, horsepower, and engine type
- A list of communication and signal equipment on the boat, including an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon
- Survival equipment on board, including life vests, flares, and food
Consider Taking a Boating Safety Course
There is a wide range of boat safety courses available, including specific classes for different types of boats, navigational equipment, and rules for staying safe on the water. Boat safety courses are designed to help you stay safe on the water, and many of them are free.
Contact a Boating Accident Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL Today
If you sustained injuries in a boating accident in Jacksonville, Florida, you may be eligible to recover damages from the at-fault party. A boating accident attorney at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you understand your legal rights and advise you on your next steps. You may be able to recover the cost of repair or replacement of your boat, medical bills, and other damages.
Contact our legal team today for a free case review at 1-800-747-3733.