Many people enjoy kayaking. It’s a great way to relax in nature and get good exercise. For those who don’t want to kayak alone, canoeing is perfect. Or maybe power boats are your preference. Whatever your choice of boat, you want to make sure that you stay safe while in the water. The following tips can help:
- Always be alert to what is in the water. Many people don’t realize that when they are in calm and high waters, there are still dangerous lurking underneath that could cause their boat to capsize. Things like trees, boulders, and other things often remain hidden under calm waters, but the results can be very dangerous.
- Always wear a life jacket, even in a canoe or kayak. This rule is even for people who are excellent swimmers. It is very easy to become fatigued, which can be dangerous. A life jacket will help keep you afloat in an emergency situation. Statistics show that life jackets substantially cut the risk of drowning if you are in a boating accident or incident.
- If your boat does tip over, do not panic. Your first reaction may be to try to head straight to the shore, but it is much safer to swim at an angle while holding onto the canoe as a floatation device.
- Always remain seated in the boat. If you stand up, it will cause the boat to rock, and it could easily turn over, potentially leaving you stranded or injured.
- Make sure you know the body of water you are going to kayak or canoe on. Some bodies of water are more difficult than others, so it is critical to your safety that you are prepared.
- No matter how tempted you may be, never drink alcohol when you are going out on the water. Just like drinking and driving a vehicle is a dangerous idea – as well as illegal – so is drinking and operating a boat. Alcohol impairs a person’s judgment, their ability to concentrate, and focus. It is estimated that alcohol is a factor in about one-third of all boating accident deaths.
- Take a boating safety course and get certified. Before you get your driver’s license, you are required to take driver education courses and learn the rules of the road, as well as how to safely operate your vehicle. Boat operators should do the same when they purchase a boat. A boating safety course will teach you everything you need to know to not only operate the boat, but also all the steps you should take to make sure you are adhering to boating safety. This includes what you should do in the event of an emergency or boating accident.
If you are in a boating accident, contact a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Patterson Bray, to speak with someone who knows how to navigate a boating accident and can help you get compensation for your injuries.