With summer approaching and the days getting longer, many throughout the Carolinas will be hitting the water as soon as the weekend arrives. Depending on where you live, this may mean taking a johnboat out on a local lake to fish for bass, using a Jet Ski or Wave Runner, or even heading far out into the ocean in a 40-foot cabin cruiser for some deep-sea fishing.
While boating can be a lot of fun, it can also be dangerous, especially when proper safety precautions are not observed. According to a recent article for The Seattle Times, May is the most dangerous month for boaters. Part of the increase is due to the high numbers of boaters on the water. With that excitement to hit the water, there are often shortcuts taken with safety measures, which can result in serious personal injury or death.
This increase includes recreational boaters, as well as those using human-powered watercraft such as kayaks, as well as commercial fisherman, such as the shrimpers who take to the waters off the Carolinas when the weather gets warm, and crab boat fisherman who work to provide residents and others around the country with native blue claw crabs. While many do not know this fact, with the problems in the Chesapeake Bay, many of the crabs devoured in Maryland’s famous crab houses were shipped up from North Carolina and South Carolina.
To keep boaters safe this May and through the next several months, our Greenville personal injury lawyers urge everyone to use appropriate caution when hitting the water on any type of boat or personal watercraft. One that can be done to prevent an increase in serious boating accidents is to make sure you are familiar with operation and all safety features for any vessel you are operating or on which you will be riding.
You should make sure there are enough life preservers and that everyone on board knows where they are and how to operate them. You should also make sure you keep your required emergency supplies, such as fire extinguishers and signal flares, in working order and that they are easily accessible in the event of any emergency.
It is also a good idea to take a boating safety course, such as those frequently offered by the United States Coast Guard and the Coast Guard Auxiliary. You should also make sure you have a working two-way radio and know how to use the emergency bands to call for assistance.
Another thing that should be mentioned is some of your adventures may involve using a rented watercraft, such as Wave Runner, and while it is the owner’s or owner’s employee’s responsibility to fully instruct you on operation and safety procedures, this does not always happen. This may mean you will have a valid personal injury claim in the event of a serious accident. Still, it would be much better for you take the time to learn how to safely operate the watercraft and prevent an injury from occurring before it happens.
Contact the South Carolina injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices by calling 800-887-1965.
May is a dangerous month for boaters , May 2, 2015, The Seattle Times
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Wadeer v. N.J. Mfrs. Ins. Co. – Recovery of Damages for “Phantom Vehicle” Accident, March 6, 2015, Greenville Injury Lawyer Blog