Boating Safety Tips from Williams Elleby
Some prefer fishing, like Attorney Joel Williams; others prefer skiing, tubing or just going for a breezy boat ride at places like Lake Allatoona. Water activities are fun, but they also present risks.
Below are a few safety tips to help you and your family avoid accidents this summer.
Boating Safety Tips
- Don’t mix excessive alcohol consumption with water activities. The dangers of mixing alcohol and boating have been well documented by countless stories in the news. It is crucial for people to remember the risks involved with operating any machinery while intoxicated and to maintain a clear head while out on the water. While enjoying a beverage or two on the water can be fun, it isn’t an experience worth risking your life over. Also, operating boats or other watercraft while intoxicated can get you into legal trouble even if you don’t cause an accident. Under the Georgia Boat Safety Act, “operating any boat, sailboat, personal watercraft, water skis, sailboard or similar device while intoxicated” at over the legal limit of .08 BAC is a crime.
- Wear life vests while operating a boat. Anyone out on the water should be wearing a life vest and making sure their friends and family members have one on, too. Water Safety USA emphasizes the importance of wearing a life jacket, even if you’re a good swimmer. “Wearing a life jacket is a key component of boating safety, along with the knowledge and skill needed to keep various types of craft under control in different environments.” Out of the 633 deaths caused by boating accidents in 2018, 77% of those deaths were caused by drowning and 84% of those were not wearing a life jacket. Even if you know how to swim, a life vest could save you in the event that an accident leaves you impaired.
- Make sure you fully understand how to operate a boat before taking it out on the water. Some accidents occur because the boat operator simply doesn’t know what he or she is doing. Make sure you fully understand how to operate any boat or watercraft you are planning on taking out on the water.
- Don’t go out alone. Boating, using watercraft or swimming in open water alone is rarely a risk worth taking. Try to always bring someone with you. When you participate in water activities with another person or in a group, you are simply better prepared to respond in case of an accident.
- Know your abilities and limits. Take stock of your swimming abilities and don’t put yourself in a situation that pushes you beyond your basic capabilities. Also, pay attention to how you are feeling throughout the day. A few hours in the summer heat can wear on a person. If you are feeling tired or lightheaded, take a break from the water.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Williams Elleby wish everyone a fun & safe summer out on the water. In the unfortunate event that you or a loved one ever do suffer an accident, feel free to contact Williams Elleby, at 833-LEGALGA to better understand your legal rights.