Louisiana is a great state for boating and, as spring gives way to summer, more and more boaters will be hitting the water to enjoy some fishing, water skiing or even just sunbathing. The more people that get out there, the more important boating safety becomes for everyone. While boating accidents and boating deaths were down in 2013 nationwide, the state of Louisiana did not fare terribly well. In 2013, Louisiana tied for having the 10th highest number of boating fatalities among states.
Every year, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary reminds boaters of useful tips to help them stay safe. Here are some things you can do to help you and your family have a safe summer out on the water:
Never drink while operating a boat. According to experts, intoxicated boating causes the most boating accidents.
Always wear a properly-fitting life jacket. Drowning victims made up 77 percent of the victims of fatal boating accidents in 2013 for whom the cause of death had been determined. A shocking 84 percent of the drowning victims had no life jacket on.
Make sure your vessel is seaworthy. If something is amiss mechanically, you could lose control of your boat and an accident could occur. If you don’t know how to properly maintain your boat, take it to a professional.
As with most things in life, education is important. Take part in a boating safety class and learn the rules and etiquette of the waterways.
Of course, even when following these precautions, a person can still get into a boating accident if the other boaters out on the water are not acting safely.
If you’ve been hurt in a boat collision thanks to the negligence of another operator, you might be entitled to compensation. A Louisiana attorney can listen to your story and may be able to help you with your case.
Source: Times Record, “Summer Fun Starts With Safe Boating,” Pam Cloud, May 25, 2014