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Florida is privileged to have access to a number of pristine waterways. From the rivers and creeks winding through the Everglades to the open expanse of Lake Okeechobee, people can have their pick for boating, fishing, tubing, water skiing, and more.
May 16 to May 22 is Safe Boating Week. Set in the middle of National Water Safety Month, the week-long observance affords an opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to learn how to handle their vessels with confidence and anticipate and prevent potential boating accidents.
When operating a boat or other type of watercraft, it’s important to remember that safety regulations and common sense apply just as much as they do on dry land. Once you’re out on the water, remember the following tips for smooth sailing:
- Always wear a life jacket, and make sure your passengers do the same
- Check the weather forecast
- Pack emergency provisions on the boat
- Keep a fire extinguisher on board that is appropriate for the vessel’s length and engine system
- Travel at a sensible speed and maintain a safe distance from other vessels, buoys, groups of people in the water, and more
- Avoid alcohol – boating under the influence (BUI) is a serious crime in Florida
Florida law requires anyone born in 1988 or after to complete a safe boating course before they can operate a motorized boat. Unfortunately, this leaves a significant portion of the population at the helm of watercraft without any kind of safety training.
With the water getting warmer, the peak season for boating is about to begin. The attorneys at the law firm of Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter represent victims of negligence on the water as well as on land, and we would be pleased to discuss the details of your claim during a free consultation.