Boat Accidents Are More Common Than You Think: Advice on How to Stay Safe

Boat

The sea out there is meant to be explored and not simply looked at. A lot of people see boating as a good way to explore the world. For most of them, the breeze from the winds and the soothing waves offer a relaxing experience unlike any other.

As good as it is, you shouldn’t take boating too lightly. In 2018 alone, there were over 600 boating accidents and most of which saw alcohol as a contributing factor. Believe it or not, boat accidents are actually very common and it’s best to avoid these. If you are out in the sea, the last thing you’d want is to have your boat crash with another.

Whether you’re a newbie to boating or if you’re already a seasoned captain, you’ll want to continue reading as we’ve got some amazing tips on how you can avoid boat accidents.

Take a Boating Course

We can’t stress this enough, but you should take a boating course before you head out into the open sea. A boating course teaches you all of the important aspects of maneuvering a boat. It’s not just about safe handling too as these courses also teach you about proper boat etiquette and maintenance.

With the right training and certification, you can avoid accidents on the sea very easily. A boating course is often a requirement in most states anyway. You can get a certification upon completing this course. These courses can take a few weeks to complete depending on how often the classes are weekly. 

Stay Far from Other Boats

Once you’re out in the open, hitting other boats and getting into accidents is less likely. Keep in mind, we said “less likely” and not impossible. One of the ways you can further decrease the chances of this happening is by simply staying away from others as much as possible.

The waves can often push your both several inches towards other boats so it’s best to stay away from them instead. Ideally, you’d want to stay several meters apart if you are hoping to avoid a collision. That being said, this is a two-way affair and the other boat needs to stay away too. In the case that a captain steers near you, move away from them immediately. If the other boat is the cause of the accident, then you should hire a boat accident lawyer in San Diego to help you with the case. You can get compensated for the damages made to your boat and your health because of the accident.

Always View the Weather Forecast

You can be the best boat owner and captain out on the sea but if the weather is bad, there’s nothing you can do about it. A lot of boat accidents are caused by poor weather conditions. As such, it is important that you always check for weather updates before you head out.

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Ideally, you’d want to avoid setting sail if the weather forecast suggests that there’s going to be strong winds and rain. It’s not just these things that will affect your journey. The decreased visibility can also disorient you as you are manning the boat. Unless clear skies are promised, keep the masts down.

Avoid Alcohol

As you would when driving a car, you should do your best to avoid manning a boat when you are under the influence. This means avoiding heavy drinking before and during your boat trip. The seas can be rough but they can be made tougher if you are under the influence. 

For the sake of your passengers and yourself, only man a boat when you have a clear mind. Manning a boat under the influence can lead to serious – and possibly fatal consequences as well.

Always Do Engine Checks Before Heading Out

The last thing you’d want happening while driving a boat is having your engine fail you in the middle of the sea. Worse, have your engine fail you as you are about to avoid the collision. It’s very important that you check your engine beforehand.

If you aren’t well-versed when it comes to checking the motor of your boat, you should have someone else who’s more knowledgeable do it for you. Also, remember to check if you have enough gas too.

Accidents at sea are far harder to respond to as compared to those that are on land. The last thing you’d want is to be in a boat accident because it’s far more life-threatening as compared to a car accident. Hopefully, these tips make your next boat trip much safer than it was before.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.