Minnesota may possess the moniker “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but boating enthusiasts in Texas don’t have anything to complain about with our more than 300 navigable reservoirs. While fun is the ultimate goal as boaters take to the water this summer, it’s important to keep in mind some basic rules to keep everyone on board safe.
“The most prevalent cause that I see for boating accidents is excessive drinking. People out on the lake are having too much fun in the sun and stop paying attention to what they are doing,” Brad says. Alcohol plays a role in nearly 80 percent of all boating accidents.
In Texas children under 13 years of age must wear a life vest, and there must be a personal flotation device for each person on board. “Don’t just have life jackets on the boat, but make sure everybody wears them. When an emergency happens, you shouldn’t be scurrying around and searching in a compartment. By then it’s too late,” Brad says.
Having a firm understanding of the rules of navigation is imperative. Anyone born on or after Sept. 1, 1993 must take a boater education certification course to operate certain vessels on public waterways. These courses are taught by US Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power Squadron, trained instructors and game wardens.
Make sure to store safety equipment, paddles and an anchor on the boat in case of emergency. It’s also a good idea to check the forecast to ensure that you don’t run into bad weather.
Brad recommends, “If you are involved in a boating accident, first seek medical treatment and make sure you are OK. Next you need to get with an attorney and help navigate through the process. Calling the insurance company and opening a claim should also be among your preliminary action items. Accidents on the water are really no different than car or trucking accidents.” If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, call the Parker Law Firm at (817) 440-3888.
Boat Safety Quiz
Answer True or False
1.Children younger than 13 years old should wear a Life jacket while underway.
2.If someone falls overboard, the first thing you should do is jump in right away to assist them.
3.A dock or slip should be always approached at clutch speed.
4.I have family visiting, and we will be going over recommended capacity by just one person. This shouldn’t be a problem for safe boating, right?
5.It’s okay if others drink when on-board, as long as there is one responsible safe boater on-board to safely handle the watercraft.
1) T 2) F 3) T 4) F 5) F