Florida is synonymous with boating and water sports – the wide-open waters are a challenge for enthusiasts, they offer the perfect blend of thrill and excitement. But boating can be risky as well and the odds of getting involved in an accident are solid enough to be a major concern. Boating is super exciting, and it would take away the fun from any vacation plans if you decide to minus boating from the experience.

The people of Florida need to be reminded of the importance of boating safety protocols so that they stay safe in the water. Don’t let the title deceive you, boating safety is an important concern, and accidents in this regard have not only caused serious injuries but also taken lives. Of course, with a little care and attention towards safety, you can make this whole experience much more enjoyable and a whole lot safer.

In this article, we will discuss with you some of the most important water sports and boating safety tips for boat operators to help you better grasp the danger at hand. If you ever find yourself in trouble due to someone’s negligence despite following through with our safety recommendations, don’t hold back from contacting our experienced personal injury attorneys for legal representation and compensation.

Read on for more information on boating safety.

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Why Is Boat Safety Important?

Before we go on explaining some boating safety tips and rules to everyone, it is important to understand the nature of the problem. Recreational boating accidents do happen and with striking regularity in Florida and this is no coincidence since the state has the most number of boats registered in all of the USA. Thus with the highest volume of registered boats in its favor, the state does indeed pose a threat to boaters and water sports aficionados.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, a government department concerned with maintaining boating and water safety for all in the state, has reported several instances of accidents and mishaps related to boats.

In 2016, for instance, the department revealed that the state of Florida reported 671 accidents, and this was the highest number in all of the USA, and it was followed by California with the second-highest stats for boat accidents in all of the USA. But the thing to note is that the number of boating accidents in California (369 reportable boating accidents) was almost half as much as in Florida.

A consistent pattern was also seen in the following years, and the cumulative losses, economic and non-economic have been staggering. Thus to state that Florida is an at-risk state for boating accidents would be a huge understatement. Boating safety is very important for a state where so many accidents have already happened, and the concerned authorities are trying to make Florida safer for boaters and vacationers.

Essential Boating Safety Tips To Follow In Florida

Based on the details of such boating accidents, experts have come up with all sorts of safety tips and recommendations to make boating as safe for people as possible. Following through with such safety regulations will surely make your experience much more comfortable and just as safer too, here are our top tips for boating safety in Florida:

  • Before departing for a boating trip, always start with checking the weather and water conditions first, is it suitable for boating? If so, go ahead, otherwise, hold back.
  • While on the boating trip, if the weather starts turning bad, don’t risk it, turn back to the shore immediately because that is the only safe haven.
  • Avoid deeper water, choppy waters, or a particularly challenging body of water if you're an amateur.
  • If going out boating with a professional, make sure they have a boating license.
  • Go through all the boat safety equipment beforehand, making sure that everything is perfectly operational, i.e. navigation equipment, flares, lifejackets, horns, fire extinguishers, batteries, and so on – make sure everything is in perfect order before setting sail.
  • Make sure you operate your boat at a safe speed; safe boating can preempt most accidents.
  • Pilot your boat as safely as possible, steer clear of other large vessels, and stay on the lookout for any risks.
  • Never go solo on your boating adventures, always keep someone with you so that they can be attentive about the surroundings if you’re distracted.
  • Never leave without letting someone know where you’re headed, for how long you’ll be gone, and so on – this way, if something does happen, they’ll be able to do something about it.
  • Don’t be a hero, your lifejacket is not optional, wear it at all times when going out boating.
  • Plus, if you have a child under 13 years with you, make sure that they don’t take off their life jacket.
  • All lifejackets must be approved by the USCG (read the product description when buying one).
  • Say no to alcohol when going out boating, getting drunk is one of the most disastrous things to do when sailing into the open waters.
  • This much is a no-brainer, but if you want to ensure maximum safety for yourself and the people accompanying you, it is best to learn how to swim so that you can avoid drowning accidents – and these accidents do happen with such regularity that it is okay to be concerned. Swimming lessons are not very complicated, you can learn the basics at short notice.
  • Make yourself familiar with the rules and protocols of boating (boater education, boating laws, boating safety education course, etc.) so you can better understand how to manage your vessel out in the open.
  • Have your boat checked for all safety concerns before you take it out to the open waters just to make sure that you’re not piloting a rundown vessel.
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The VG Law Group Is Dedicated To Helping You

Despite our best efforts to prevent them, accidents do happen, whether on land or on the water. Accidents during water activities can be disastrous for recreational boaters and any other person on board, and it may take several days and a whole bunch of medical bills to get you back to your feet, the way you were before the accident. However, you should never let someone’s negligence harm you to such an extent, instead, if you’re ever wronged due to someone’s recklessness, you should exercise your legal rights.

You have the right to be compensated for your losses, and your lawyer will see to it that this is the case. If you acted responsibly and within reason but still got hurt due to the negligence of the other party, discuss the case with your personal injury attorney. When you contact us for our services, one of our legal professionals will begin with giving you an initial consultation session, following which we will get on with preparing your case and fighting for your rights at all levels.

Call VG Law today for more information on how we can help you get compensated in a boating accident case. 

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