Today marks the end of National Safe Boating Week and the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, the first big boating weekend for many in California. The purpose of National Safe Boating Week was to increase life jacket use on our waters and remind boaters of safe boating tips.
It is a particularly important reminder for people taking their boats out on Memorial Day weekend. According to the Department of Boating and Waterways, nearly 25 percent of boating accidents occur during three major holiday weekends: Memorial Day, Labor Day and July Fourth.
Before you take your boat out, consider these safety tips:
- Check the weather. Southern California weather is expected to be chilly, there will be morning fog in some areas and we can expect swells from two directions.
- Inspect your boat, especially if this is your first time out this year.
- Wear a life jacket.
- Always keep an eye out for rocks and other boat traffic and slow down on your approach.
- Do not boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. According to the Coast Guard, intoxicated boating was the number one biggest cause of fatal boating accidents in 2012.
By adhering to these safety tips and general boating safety, Memorial Day can be an enjoyable three-day weekend for all boaters.
Of course, boaters -- like drivers -- must rely on each other to stay safe this weekend. If you are injured by another boater's negligence, contact us to learn how you can recover compensation for your economic and noneconomic injuries.
Source: Daily Pilot, "From The Boathouse: As Boating Season Starts, Is Safety First?" Mike Whitehead, May 22, 2013