Summer is quickly approaching which means days enjoyed out on the lake and our beaches! In the Upstate, we can expect an influx of boaters onto Lake Hartwell, Lake Keowee, Lake Bowen and other local lakes. Often there are few or no requirements for operating a boat or jet ski other than age requirements. A lack of experience can create problems.
In order to insure everyone’s safety on the water we have complied a list of safety tips for boaters:
- Always check the weather before heading out to make sure no dangerous conditions, such as thunderstorms are predicted for the day
- Let someone know where you are going and if possible, when you are likely to be back
- Make sure your craft has the appropriate amount and size of lifejackets for passengers
- Check the fuel level and battery charge of your watercraft
- Make sure all necessary lights are in working condition on both the boat and the trailer, if applicable
- Make sure you have emergency items such as fire extinguishers, throwable floatation devices, first aid kits, cellphones, as well as visual and audible distress signals, if required
- Don’t operate the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Familiarize yourself with proper boating practice like all boats approaching from the right have the right of way
There were approximately 4,168 boating accidents in 2019 according to the Coast Guard. 613 of them resulted in fatal accidents, while 2,559 resulted in serious injuries to passengers. The most common contributing factor for accidents while boating is use of alcohol, referred to as BUI or Boating Under the Influence.
Jet Ski Accidents
Another popular watercraft on the lake is Jet Skis. These watercrafts make up only 9% of registered aquatic vessels, but account for 26% of reported accidents! Safety tips for Jet Skis are largely the same as they are for boating, but one important difference in safety for Jet Ski drivers is to learn to drive defensively.
Given the size of the Jet Ski and its ability to drive very quickly across the water, hitting other Jet Skis, boats or people in the water is a real possibility if proper attention is not given. The wake of passing boats also pose issues for quickly moving Jet Skis, as going over the wake could result in the Jet Ski landing awkwardly, or even upside down. Staying alert and taking proper courses to learn the best methods for Jet Ski driving are major keys to being safe on the water!
ML Lawyers located in Anderson, SC has many years of experience with representing individuals who were injured due to others negligent actions. If you or someone you know has been injured while on a watercraft on Lake Hartwell, Lake Keowee, Lake Bowen, Lake Greenwood or any other of our local lakes, please contact our office for a free initial consultation. We are committed to providing our clients the utmost level of competence, concern, and commitment.
Personal Injury Lawyers located in Anderson, SC