Boating is a lot of fun, but it comes with a lot of responsibility. Every boat owner and operator needs to be aware of the hazards of boating, and how to avoid them. Here is a quick guide to the five common hazards of boating.
Sailing Under the Influence
Just like driving, you should not sail or pilot a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is the number one cause of boating accidents across the United States. As the operator of a boat, you have a responsibility to all its passengers and to other people out on the water. Boating accidents can cause long-lasting injuries and can even be fatal. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a boating accident, check out www.rblaw.net/practices-boating-accidents for more information on the legal remedies available to you.
The biggest risk when boating is the water around you. It is a fatal hazard that can claim the life of even the most competent and experienced swimmer. Whenever you go out on the water you should ensure that all passengers on the boat, including yourself, are wearing a life jacket. These lightweight devices drastically reduce the risk of drowning if someone ends up in the water. You should also have a plan in place in case someone does go overboard so that you and other passengers can react quickly and reduce the risk of drowning further.
If you are operating a boat with a propeller, you need to take some extra precautions to make sure it does not pose a threat to you, your passengers, or other water users. Propellers can cause life-changing injuries and fatalities. You need to be extremely cautious when navigating near swimmers or through shallow waters. The propeller can impact submerged rocks and debris on the river or lakebed and catapult them out of the water. Not only does this pose a risk to your boat, its propeller, and its engine, but it also poses a risk to other nearby water users.
One of the most common hazards in boating is the failure of equipment. Poorly maintained engines can leave people stranded in the water. This can often cause a lot of psychological distress to operators and passengers, and if you are stranded for a long time, it can cause physical health problems such as dehydration and exposure. Rescue operations for stranded pleasure boats can cost thousands or tens of thousands of dollars but can be easily avoided. Always maintain every aspect of your boat and inspect it carefully before embarking on a voyage.
Inexperienced operators of boats pose a hazard to themselves, their passengers, and other water users. Whenever you buy a boat, you should get fully trained in its operation. Different boats have different quirks and features. Even if you have experience on the water with other boats, you should still go through some training on your new craft from the seller. This can help save you time, money, and distress and is an important part of protecting yourself, your passengers, and other people who are out on the water.
The more you know about the common hazards of boating and how to prepare for them, the less likely you are to experience them. Plan and prepare before you go out on the water, and you will have more fun.