May was National Safe Boating Month, reminding everyone who enjoys time in the water to be careful. Unfortunately, shortly after this month ended, tragedy struck two men near Silverbell Lake, a popular fishing location in Christopher Columbus Park. The two men were killed on June 2, when a friend was backing up a vehicle so they could all pack up and go home. Although this incident didn’t happen on a boat, it still serves as a reminder of the need for enhanced safety awareness anytime you are on or near the water. To stay safe while you are having fun, follow these five water safety tips.
1. Don’t operate a motorized vehicle while intoxicated.
While intoxicated, you should never operate any motorized vehicle, including a boat. Being intoxicated slows your reflexes and makes accidents more likely. Every accident poses a risk to you and the people around you, so don’t get behind the wheel unless you are sober.
2. Pay attention to those around you.
Being aware of the people around you is one of the best ways to prevent an accident. Whether your own a boat, driving near the dock or swimming in the water, make an effort to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Look for swimmers. boaters, drivers and marina visitors walking on the shore. This will reduce the risk of all types of accidents, regardless of who is at fault.
3. Abide by all applicable boat safety regulations.
Anytime you enter a boat, be prepared to abide by all of the safety regulations recommended by the state of Arizona. These regulations state that:
- Your watercraft should be properly registered.
- You should have an appropriate life vest for each person on board.
- Your boat should have at least one fire extinguisher.
- No one under the age of 12 should operate a watercraft unless an adult or guardian is present.
- You should always operate your boat at a reasonable speed.
- You should never operate your boat under the influence of alcohol.
Learn these regulations and follow them at all times to prevent accidents and avoid liability.
4. Invest time and resources into skill development.
To improve your skills and reduce the risk of accidents, spend time learning as much as you can about boating safety. Consider taking some courses in boating safety, swimming proficiency and/or CPR to build your knowledge and enhance your abilities.
5. Make use of available technology to aid in safety awareness and injury prevention.
Thanks to developments in technology, it is now easier to protect yourself and others while you are on the water. Make use of these new technologies, which include weather apps, the Coast Guard mobile app and GPS/navigation apps. These applications will help you avoid bad weather, stay on the right course and find the nearest marina if you need help.
Even when you are doing your best to stay safe on the water, accidents can still occur. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in a boating accident caused by someone else, you need representation from an experienced attorney. Please contact our team to learn more.