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Fall Boating Safety Tips
With comfortable temperatures, strong winds for sailing, and the crowded waterways of the summer a memory, fall has become a popular season for boating. It’s also a time to take some extra safety precautions, according to the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water.
Most boaters who drown are in smaller crafts - those less than 21 feet in length, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. These smaller boats are more susceptible to the effects of stormy weather. That’s why it’s even more important to take precautions if you will be in a smaller vessel. However, these boating safety tips are good to keep in mind for a vessel of any size:
Keep safety in mind on the water:
- Wear a life jacket.
- File a float plan if you’re planning to travel solo. That way someone can sound the alarm if you don’t return in a timely manner.
- Install a self-boarding ladder. This can be as simple as a length of multi-looped rope that is attached to the cleat and may be grabbed from the water.
- Use your engine cutoff switch. If you accidentally go overboard, and your boat keeps running, that can quickly turn dangerous.
Make sure your boat stays reliable:
- Now is the time to fix things that broke, leaked, or need replacement.
- Keep up with required maintenance.
- Look for a winter boat cover. Add padding to your boat’s hard edges to ensure that cover lasts all season.
Negligence or mechanical malfunctions are common reasons for boating accidents. If you or someone you love was injured in a boating accident and believe that negligence was a factor, please contact us. Having a better understanding of your legal options may help.