As the Louisiana weather warms up, recreational boat owners can be found enjoying the beautiful lakes and rivers throughout the state. Unfortunately, when drivers and passengers aren’t careful, boating accidents can occur, with injuries ranging from minor bruises to possible fatalities. Adhere to these basic procedures to help stay safe on the water.
Stock Safety Equipment
Be prepared with the right safety equipment. Make sure you have a first aid kit, boat lights, and emergency food on board, as well as enough life jackets for each guest. Life jackets should be examined periodically for tears, rips, and other damage. Replace any damaged life jackets immediately.
According to Louisiana law, children 16 and younger must wear a Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device when on a boat less than 26 feet long.
Don’t Overload the Boat
Know your boat’s maximum weight and passenger capacity to help keep it from tipping over or capsizing. Never load too many passengers on the boat, and make sure that their weight is evenly distributed around the vessel. You should also always secure your anchor to the front of the boat, never at the back or side.
Inspect Your Boat
Any time before heading out on the water, inspect the boat’s oil and fluid levels, battery, and all belts and ropes to ensure everything is in proper condition. This can help extend the life of your boat and keep you and your passengers safe.
Always Drive Sober
Driving while inebriated can lead to accidents, no matter the type of transportation. When your ability to steer, stop, and make decisions is impaired, you risk everyone on board; you’re also increasing your chances of falling overboard or getting dehydrated.
Even when all safety precautions are followed, boating accidents can still happen. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligence, the attorneys at Smith Shanklin Sosa are here to help. Call 225-424-6094 or contact us online to request your free consultation.