One of the most quintessential summer experiences is a day out on the water. Whether you’re piloting a jet ski, pontoon, or speed boat, skimming over the waves with the sun shining is a great time. But as much fun as can be had out on the water, it’s important to remember some safety tips as well. Unlike other forms of motor vehicles, many boat owners and jet ski riders don’t need a driver’s license or any kind of formal training to operate a boat. Safe operating skills and maintenance are the responsibility of the owner. When boating accidents unfortunately occur, the owner is responsible for any harm caused.
The essentials of safe boating are the same as the essentials for operating any motor vehicle: stay sober, stay alert, and wear all the necessary safety equipment. But the fact that everyone is on water adds a few twists that need to be taken into account:
- The glare off the water can harm visibility. Invest in some polarized lenses to keep your vision clear (as well as something to keep them on your head)!
- Keep a close eye out for people in the water. Swimmers may pop up in unexpected places, so it’s important to keep scanning the water around you.
- Keep an orange flag at hand at all times, and make sure it goes up immediately if anyone goes in the water or falls while skiing or tubing.
If you’re nervous about your first time boating or need a refresher course on the rules of the water, take a class online. They typically take less than a day and will get you up to speed on all of the knowledge you need to have a fun and safe day on the water.
Following these basic tips can go a long way to keeping you and your family safe from the catastrophic effects of a boating accident. So have fun, stay safe, and have a great summer from us here at Onder Law!