Serving Maryland and Washington D.C. 301.870.1200

Staying Safe This Summer with Must-Know Boating Safety Tips

Boating is one of the most popular ways to beat the heat in the summer and have fun doing it, especially in coastal states. If you are planning on hitting the sea, ocean, pond, river, or any other body of water this summer, then you should first review some must-know boating safety tips. The more safety knowledge you have, the less likely you’ll be in an avoidable accident later.

Here are 7 boating safety tips to keep in mind for any boating trip:

  • Bring a hazard kit: You should keep a hazard kit in your boat just as you do in your automobile. What goes in your kit might depend on the size and style of your water vessel. However, there are some must-have staples, such as a first aid kit, whistle, mirror for emergency signaling, duct tape for quick patches, bottled water, and nonperishable food.
  • Give everyone a lifejacket: Purchase a Coast Guard-approved lifejacket for each person who will be on your boat. No matter how strong a swimmer someone claims to be, they need a lifejacket. Not only do they need a lifejacket, but they also need one that fits them appropriately. Inform everyone on your vessel where to get a lifejacket in an emergency. Children, elders, and inexperienced swimmers should always wear their lifejackets.
  • Know the weather: Many boating accidents are not caused by negligent boaters in other vessels. Instead, inclement weather can catch a boater by surprise, resulting in a sinking or capsizing. Before you go boating, check the weather. If you are not confident you will be able to sail safely based on the predicted weather conditions, then you should reschedule.
  • Pay attention to weight limits: Every vessel has its weight limit. Exceeding that limit can cause it to become difficult to sail. Too much weight from passengers and equipment onboard can even increase the risk of capsizing and sinking. If you are planning on having many people aboard your boat, then you can assume an average weight per person and begin adjusting equipment weight from there.
  • Practice anchoring and docking processes: Improper anchoring and docking methods can be the cause of otherwise preventable boating accidents, like someone falling overboard or colliding into the dock or harbor. Practice anchoring and docking before you invite people onto your boat until you are confident. Remember that the amount of anchor you drop can change with the weather and the tide. Also, the angle you approach the dock will change based on the wind.
  • Never drink and sail: Far too many drunk boating accidents happen every year, especially in considering that 100% of them are avoidable if people do not drink before operating a water vessel. Whoever will be in charge of sailing your vessel must not have a single alcoholic beverage the entire time you are on the water. It only takes one beer to start clouding your decision-making abilities and slow your reaction time.
  • Refresh your knowledge with more training: Still not sure if you are ready to hit the water safely this summer? Sign up for a boating safety course for a helpful refresher. The U.S. Coast Guard will often host safety training sessions, sometimes without any cost to course attendees. It is always better to admit you need more boating knowledge than to assume you have enough.

The Law Office of Robert Castro, P.A. can help you file a boating accident claim if you are hurt while boating on the waters in and around Maryland this summer. Our Waldorf boating accident attorneys can examine the key details of your case and determine if you have a valid claim against the person who caused your injuries. Call (301) 870-1200 to get more information or contact us online if you prefer.

Categories: