Being located so close to the North Atlantic Ocean has its perks for residents of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Boating is one of the most favored pastimes during warmer months and there’s no shortage of speed boats, fishing schooners, and pontoon boats on the waters off the New England coast in the summer.
Here’s how you can stay safe and reduce the risk of becoming involved in a boating accident.
Don’t Drink and Boat
Contrary to popular belief, it is as illegal to drink and operate a boat as it is to drink and operate a motor vehicle. According to the American Boating Association (ABA), “alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.” If you wish to enjoy alcoholic beverages on the water, elect a designated operator and don’t allow anyone who has been drinking or who appears intoxicated to operate the boat. DUI boating accidents are serious and often result in the critical injury or death of one or more passengers on the boat.
Obtain Boat Safety Training
Operating a boat seems simple enough and many boat owners elect not to receive formal boat safety training. However, the ABA reports that in 2015, 71% of deadly boating accidents occurred on vessels where the boat operator had not undergone safety training. Just 15% of boating fatalities occurred on vessels where the operator had received a boating safety certificate from a nationally-accredited boat safety education program.
Wear Life Jackets
Although life jackets can’t prevent a boating accident, they can help reduce the risk of drowning should you find yourself in an unexpected situation. In the same report the ABA published for 2015, they suggest that of the boating fatalities where the cause of death was known, 76% drowned. Of those drownings, 85% of them were not wearing a life jacket. In order to increase your safety on the water, ensure that everyone on your boat – especially small children or anyone who cannot swim – wear a properly sized and fitted life jacket.
What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Boating Accident
Sometimes, you can take all the safety precautions in the world and still end up in a boating accident due to the negligence or carelessness of others who are also on the water. If you or a loved one have been injured in such an accident, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney to learn more about what your legal options are for collecting compensation for damage to your boat, medical expenses, and even funeral expenses if you’ve lost a family member in the accident.
Contact the Law Offices of Mazow | McCullough, PC today for more information by calling 855-693-9084.