How to Boat Safely on Memorial Day Weekend

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

Boating-Safely-on-Memorial-Day-WeekendMemorial Day weekend is a popular holiday for boaters, and as such, it’s important to remember that while going out on open waters may be fun, the fact that waterways are going to be extra congested means that the chances of a boating accident occurring is much more likely. In fact, Memorial Day is one of the holidays where boating accidents are most likely to occur. So, if you are planning on heading out on your vessel for the holiday, our boating accident lawyers here at LMAW have a few tips that can help you and your loved ones stay as safe as possible during the holiday weekend.

  1. Refrain from drinking and boating – Alcohol is one of the top contributors to boating accidents. Given the fact that this is a holiday weekend, it’s not uncommon for people to enjoy an alcoholic beverage or two. However, it’s important to remember that when boating, intoxication occurs much more rapidly than while on land. The hot temperatures, coupled with the motion of the waves and breeze can accelerate the process of intoxication, and can lead to a serious accident if not careful. While we know that the holiday weekend is a time to kick back, and for many that includes enjoying an alcoholic beverage, limiting your alcohol intake to solely land-based activities and with a designated driver on hand will drastically reduce your chances of getting involved in a serious boating accident.
  2. Maintain a prudent speed – During Memorial Day weekend, there are going to be a lot more people out at sea than usual, so it’s crucial to ensure you maintain a safe speed while boating. Not only will there be heavy traffic on waterways, but there will also be a significantly higher number of people swimming and enjoying watersports, such as jet skiing, wakeboarding, and kayaking. A crash can occur in the blink of an eye, especially if there are a lot of people sharing the waterways with you. Be sure to stay alert and keep an eye out for boaters and others in the water so you can avoid a serious boating accident. Operate vessels at a prudent speed so you can safely navigate around those in the water and prevent a tragedy.
  3. Stay up to date on your boating safety laws – Boating safety laws vary by state, and are often amended, so it’s important to always be up to date on the laws and restrictions in the area you’ll be boating. Additionally, it’s crucial to always inspect your vessel before heading out into the water to be sure your boat is in proper working condition. Also, keep several lifejackets on board to ensure everyone on board has a floatation device and make sure those on board are wearing their lifejackets at all times. If you are uncertain about the laws in your state, check out this website for a full list of regulations in your area before hitting open waters on your vessel.

These are just a few safety tips that can help reduce your chances of getting injured during Memorial Day weekend. By refraining from consuming alcohol, maintaining a prudent speed, and being aware of the boating laws in your state, you can lower you and your party’s risk of getting hurt in open waters.

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