Boat Safely With These Tips

After Marlins Pitcher José Fernández died in a boating accident on September 25th, many Floridians and baseball fans nationwide mourned the passing of a bright star.

Florida has the highest rate of boating accidents in the nation. Part of that is due to Florida’s great weather and high rate of boat ownership. Last year, 62 people died in boating accidents (PDF) in Florida alone. And while summer is technically over, Florida’s temperate weather allows many boaters to continue to enjoy the waters. Here are some tips to stay safe as you fish, float, or speed through the lovely Florida waterways.

John Bales Tampa Boating Accident Lawyer

Take a Class

Make sure you know your stuff and what to do when you’re out on the water. Consider taking a boat safety class and a CPR class before getting your feet wet. Also, it’s a good idea for anyone else who may operate your boat to take a safety class. Consider having your kids take a class once they’re fourteen.

Always Check the Weather

Before leaving the dock, make sure you’ve checked the weather and made a plan. If it’s too choppy or there’s the potential for a storm, consider delaying your trip.

Rock a Life Vest

If you think a life vest makes you look weird or limits your movement—think again. There are plenty of different types of life vests that can help you keep your mobility—and your life. Make sure any non-swimmers are always wearing a vest, and keep enough life vests on board your vessels for your passengers.

Tell Someone Your Plans

Anytime you plan on heading out on the water, make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you plan to be back.

Save the Beer for Later

While drinking and boating may seem like they go together, it’s actually very unsafe. Not only are boaters held to the same BAC level as drivers, but alcohol doubles your chances of being in a boating accident. So save the beer for after the trip and enjoy the water sober.

Boating Safety Can Save Your Life

In 2015, most boating fatalities occurred because of falling overboard or flooding while out on the water. Sixty-four percent of deaths were attributed to drowning. Eighty-seven percent of the deceased were not wearing flotation devices, and 72% did not have boater education.

You can reduce your risk of accident. Take your boating safety seriously and take a class to learn more about how to properly operate a vessel and how to deal with an emergency. And don’t forget to have a flotation device nearby.

When to Speak to a Tampa Boating Accident Lawyer

If you were injured in a boating accident or have had property damaged because of a boating accident, a Tampa boating accident lawyer may be able to help you receive compensation for your injuries or damages.

When someone else’s recklessness or negligence leads to injury or damage to property, the tort system allows you to seek compensation to cover your medical bills, lost wages, and repair or replacement costs for damaged property. Consulting with a knowledgeable Tampa boating accident lawyer is the first step in making a claim.

If you are attempting to file a claim with an insurer and are being stonewalled, a Tampa boating accident lawyer can help. Experience dealing with insurance companies as well as in-depth knowledge of the law can make the process go more smoothly.

To avoid being penalized by Florida’s statute of limitations, make sure to speak to a Tampa boating accident lawyer as soon as it is clear that you need one. Don’t hesitate—contact a Tampa boating accident lawyer for the legal help you need.