Monday, September 4, 2017

How to Prevent Boating Accidents|8 Best Tips to Prevent Boating Accidents


When sailing in the open seas, boat operators and passengers have their part to prevent accidents and injuries. But accidents can strike anytime and anywhere, it is always best to prepare ahead of time. Here are some of the things you can do in preventing boating accidents. 

Do not consume alcohol when boarding

Alcohol is the main leading cause of fatalities in boating accidents, according to the US Coast Guard. In the year 2011, alcohol causes 16% of boating-related accidents deaths. In the same study of the agency, drinking while boating has a 34% chance of boating fatalities. Just like operating any types of machinery, drinking and boating increase the chance of accidents on seas. 
However, with all the fun happening under the sun and activities in the water, you can get distracted. One glass of wine or a can of beer may easily turn into one bottle or quite a number of beers. It is not that hard to get drunk while operating a boat. Make it a commitment not to consume alcohol while on board and think about safety. Also, operating a boat while under the influence can get you prison time.

Make it a habit to check you have sufficient safety equipment onboard

Your boats should always have adequate safety equipment like boat lights, and fire extinguisher. There should be enough life jackets and flotation devices for everyone as well as first aid kits and emergency provisions. Before leaving port make sure the anchor is onboard and don’t ever leave without one. 

About 70% of boat accidents fatalities happen because of drowning and 84% of people who drowned did not wear any life jackets. 

Properly Maintain the boat and keep all safety equipment in top shape

Neglecting routine check-ups, proper maintenance of the boat and its safety equipment can land you in jail. Under the rule of court, this is an act of negligence. In 2011, boat malfunction and poor safety equipment resulted in 424 boating accidents, 151 injuries, and 28 fatalities, according to the US Coast Guard. Check your boat and its main components prior to your plans of sailing away, that you give you enough time to replace or repair necessary equipment.

Constantly monitor weather conditions

Weather conditions can change drastically in the open seas. If the weather looks to get worse, follow your instinct and return to shore as soon as possible. The Coast Guard reported bad weather conditions resulted in 771 accidents with 466 injuries and 155 fatalities for the year 2011. These include environmental issues like congested waterways and treacherous water conditions. Always heed weather forecasts and warnings before heading out. 

Do not overload the boat

Letting too many passengers and gear on your boat increases the risk of swamping or capsizing. Be mindful of the weight capacity of your boat, not just for the passengers but also with their gears. The weight capacity of each boat should be posted in the operator’s area. Overloading caused 193 accidents, 109 injuries and 79 deaths back in 2011.

Operators either overload the boat or improperly load the boat because of unmindful loading. You should be aware how to equally distribute passengers or gears to avoid capsizing and other accidents.

Always pay attention to your surroundings

As operating any vehicles or machinery, you need to watch other passing boats. Stay vigilant for people doing some activities in the water. Operator negligence resulted in 581 boating accidents, 363 injuries, and 58 deaths in 2011. Keep your focus on how to stay clear from other distractions in the water.  Another helpful tip from expert boaters – do not turn off your emergency radio. You can receive crash warnings and incoming weather conditions on your radio. You may not have any cell phone signals in the open seas but you can always rely on your radio. 

Maintain safe speed and always follow navigational rules

Even though there are no posted speed limits sign on the water, you should know the imposed limit in your area. Always follow speed limits and navigational rules when out in the water. 

Over speeding is the leading cause of boating accidents which resulted in 349 accidents, 321 injuries, and 28 deaths in 2011. There are many rules for boating but following these two significant rules can prevent accidents.

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