When you’re out on a lake, enjoying the fresh air and the summer sun, the last thing you might be thinking of is an accident, especially if you’re an experienced boater. Boating accidents can lead to serious injuries which, if you’re uninsured, can result in high medical bills, recovery time, and even the inability to work, not to mention the cost of repairs. Here are some tips to help you avoid such accidents.
Remember Safety Equipment
The number one thing that all boats should come equipped with is a lifejacket, and naturally, there should be one for every passenger. Other equipment that will help you avoid accidents includes navigation tools such as a sound-signaling device and navigation lights, an anchor, a bilge pump for water, and otherwise. You should also always have a fire extinguisher on hand in case your boat catches fire, and have it tested regularly.
Check the Weather
White caps are not your friends. Always check the weather before you head out on the water to avoid getting stuck out in a storm. You lower your chances of having an accident significantly if you’re sailing in the right conditions. Check the wind conditions at least half an hour before sailing, since they’re likely to change throughout the day. Strong winds begin around 20 knots or 24 mph. There may also be a gale warning, which is essentially a warning to stay ashore.
Take a Boat Safety Course
It’s easy to opt for an online boater’s course to obtain a personal craft operator card, but if you really want to be safe on the water, then choose an in-depth, hands-on training course. These should usually be around two days long and offer real-time practice. An added bonus, the more boating training you have, the lower your insurance premiums are likely to be!
Maintain Your Boat and Check It
Engine problems, a hole in the hull, issues with maneuverability, and electric and cable complications are all problems that are better off avoided. Before you get on the water, check these components to ensure they are all in working condition. If an alarm goes off after you’ve turned on the boat, it means that the engine is overheating or the oil pressure is dropping.
Have you had a boat accident in Ontario? The Zuber Brioux team of personal injury lawyers have been helping boaters in the Kingston area and beyond with legal services for more than 30 years combined. We’re happy to assist! Contact us for more information or to make an appointment.