Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.
Godfrey, Leibsle, Blackbourn & Howarth, S.C.

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Elkhorn, WI

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Summer boating accidents common causes

Now that the summer has begun, the most popular Wisconsin pastime – boating – is more or less the thing to do. Unfortunately, more people on the waterways tend to mean more inexperienced boaters making questionable decisions. So how do you keep yourself safe?

Respect the right-of-way

On the water, just as on the road, the right of way is important. However, it’s probably much more injury-sparing in a boat than in a car. Following the clear right-of-way guidelines keeps everyone safe on the water. In a general sense, hand-powered boats such as kayaks generally have the right-of-way above other craft. There are simple rules about who has the right of way. These rules are in place to keep you and your crew safe.

Prepare for a full outing.

You want to ensure that you have everything you’ll need on your boat for your outing to be safe. This include:

  • Drinking water
  • Sunscreen
  • Food
  • First aid kit
  • Spare clothes

If these just sound like necessities for any outing, you’re right. People often don’t properly categorize outings and think they must have certain things because it’s a boat. If you’re not sure you have it on the boat and might want it, bring it.

Check your boat’s safety equipment.

In addition to the necessities for a good time, you also want to ensure your boat is stocked with necessary safety equipment like:

  • Life jackets
  • Flares
  • Radios
  • Life-preservers
  • Rope
  • Blankets

Safety equipment is necessary when you may not necessarily be anywhere near a facility for assistance. You want to be as self-sufficient as possible.

Beware other boats

Perhaps all this advice is second nature to you, but you better believe that other people on the water haven’t thought of it. Remember that your preparation cannot stop another inexperienced boater from causing a significant accident.

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