With spring in full swing and warmer weather just around the corner, Ohioans are getting outdoors to indulge in some of their favorite hobbies and activities, with boating being one of the most popular. Ohio’s boating industry is booming and the state has countless rivers, lakes and ponds for boating enthusiasts.
Given the many benefits of boating, it’s no surprise that there are so many people who enjoy being on the water. While boating is fun, it also comes with well-known dangers, primarily due to reckless drivers and passengers. Other dangers in boating stem from the unpredictability and betrayal of Mother Nature.
There are several scenarios boaters may encounter that may require filing a lawsuit. There are many ways someone can be held legally liable for an injury, such as speeding, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or not knowing how to operate a boat properly, and the consequences can be devastating.
If you are injured on a boat you should consider contacting one Ohio Boat Accident Attorney. But it’s also important to plan ahead and prepare before you go boating, and knowing what to do in an emergency and after a boating accident. While you cannot prevent or avoid every hazard, by taking certain safety precautions you can reduce the risk of injury while boating.
Top boating safety tips
As a driver or passenger on a boat, there are measures to ensure you are as safe as possible on the water. If you have the right equipment and safety measures, you can protect yourself and others and even save a life.
1. Know boating laws and requirements
Just as there are highway and street laws, Ohio also has boating laws and regulations that must be followed. For example, there are speed limits, minimum driver age, training and supervision restrictions, restricted and no-drop-anchor areas, and requirements for passengers while underway.
Ohio boating laws require boaters born on or after January 1, 1982 to pass a boater’s training course or proficiency test to operate a boat over ten horsepower. Training boaters helps keep the waterways safe for all. It promotes the safe operation of motor vehicles and is proof of this Ohio Boater Training If the requirement is met, you must keep it with you.
2. Check the weather
Regardless of where in Ohio you’re boating and what type of vessel you’re on, check the weather forecast before you hit the water. Certain weather conditions such as high wind speeds, rain and storms can result in unsafe boating conditions. Ohio is not on the coast, but sea storms and even hurricane remnants can affect boater safety.
Hot weather and heat waves create hazardous conditions and put boaters at risk of heat stroke and burns. Pack and drink plenty of water, put on sunscreen, and wear a hat to stay cool and protected.
3. Bring life jackets for everyone
In 2022, drowning was the leading cause Boating fatalities in Ohio. Even the best swimmers are at risk of drowning. An important boating safety tip is to have enough life jackets – and the right size – for everyone on board.
Children under the age of 10 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (PFD) on vessels less than 18 feet in length. Life jackets are also required to be worn by anyone who waterskis, surfboards, inflatables, or other equipment towed by a boat. Depending on the size of the boat, you may also need a throwing vest to use if someone falls into the water.
Wearing a life jacket, at any age and on any boat, is the best protection against drowning when someone falls overboard, collides with another vessel, or a boat sinks. These situations can cause people in the water to become disoriented, panic, or even lose consciousness.
4. Do not work under the influence of drugs or alcohol
As with driving an automobile or other road vehicle, Ohio law prohibits you from operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater and you must not be under the influence of drugs. It is always safest to completely abstain from alcohol when boating. However, if you do choose to drink alcohol, don’t get behind the wheel, let a “driver” do it for you. And remember, boating remains a legal drinking age of 21.
5. Pack safety and emergency supplies
A boating accident can happen in a variety of ways, ranging from minor injuries to fatal injuries. To be prepared for potential emergencies, stay safe by keeping these supplies onboard:
- First aid kit
- whistle or horn
- fire extinguisher
- oar and a bucket
If you plan to be far from shore and other boaters, a flare gun should be added to your boat’s emergency kit. You should also have a walkie-talkie or cell phone handy, as it’s important to be able to contact emergency services or a family member if necessary.
6. Share your float plan
Every time you boat in Ohio, let someone know where you’re going by giving them your boat float plan. Sharing your itinerary, no matter what type of ship you’re on, makes sure someone knows where you’re going and for how long in case something happens. This is especially important if you cannot notify the emergency services or someone else that something has happened and you need help.
If you are involved in a boating accident, the person you gave your swim plan to can contact emergency services on your behalf. They can share important details like your planned route, departure time, who’s with you and when you’re expected to return, which can be helpful in a search and rescue operation.
7. Pack extras
Packing extra essentials like food, water, and clothing is a simple but important boating safety tip. The weather can change quickly and falls overboard are not uncommon. Staying dry is especially important at night, especially if you are involved in a boating accident and are waiting for help. It also makes sense to pack extra water and food. Staying hydrated and maintaining your energy levels can help reduce the risk of injury while out on the water.
8. Maintain your ship
Like cars, motorcycles, and trucks, power boats require oil, gas, and coolant to function properly. Engine maintenance is vital to safety and includes thorough checking of things such as: B. how much petrol you have and whether your fluids are refilled.
You need to regularly inspect your boat for damage, check the functionality of your lights, and more. This in detail Boat maintenance checklist goes through additional steps that must be taken to ensure the safest boating experience.
9. Stay alert
Another boating safety tip is that boaters must remain alert at all times. It’s easy to get caught up in open water fun, especially when friends are on board, but staying alert while driving can prevent a boating accident. Always know where other vessels are near you, keep an eye on the weather, obey Ohio boating laws, and keep your cell phone away while the engine is running. Finally, distracted driving and boating injuries and fatalities occur on the water.
10. Educate passengers about safety
Anyone boarding a boat should have a basic knowledge of boating safety. As the owner and operator of a ship, you inform friends and family who accompany you on the water. Understanding the many dangers one can encounter could save their lives.
Before leaving the dock, show passengers where the first aid kit, paddles, bucket and life jackets are, read through the relevant boating laws and regulations, and discuss what to do in various emergencies . Boating is fun when boat safety is a priority for anyone operating or even boarding a boat.
Dangers of Boating in Ohio
The many Dangers of Reckless Boating in Ohio should be taken seriously. The most common causes of boating accidents are speeding, driver inattention, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, driver inexperience and poor boat maintenance.
Many injuries can occur on a boat, from lacerations and broken bones to traumatic brain injuries, organ damage and spinal cord injuries, resulting in lifelong pain and struggles that drastically change people’s lives. Be aware that it may take some time before you realize the seriousness of an injury. A slip and fall on the deck of a boat may seem minor, but a back injury can take months (or more) of physical therapy and other treatments to aid in recovery.
Whether you are the operator or a passenger on a boat, there are clear hazards that you can encounter on the water. If you are injured on a boat, it is important to consult an attorney. At Murray & MurrayOur Ohio boat injury and maritime attorneys have extensive experience handling these complex cases.
Proving liability in boatwrecks can be more difficult than other personal injury cases due to specific factors that may contribute to what is happening on the water. Our knowledgeable team protects victims of boating accidents and fights for their rights to ensure they are properly compensated for their suffering and losses. Contact Murray & Murray on-line or call 419-624-3000 for a free consultation.