As summer comes into full swing, so does all the fun and stress that comes with boating.
There’s nothing better than feeling the wind in your hair, the sunshine on your face, and the freedom the open water provides.
For many families that live on the South Carolina coast, there’s nothing like hitting the ICW for a day of fun and fishing.
However, boating accidents happen more often than you would imagine.
Here are a few main causes of boating accidents and steps to take if you’re in one.
3 Main Causes of Boating Accidents
Unfortunately, drunk boating accidents happen all too often and their consequences are heartbreaking.
It’s illegal to operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol and just like cars, South Carolina has set a legal limit of .08% BAC.
Operator Inattention is a major cause of boating accidents according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Boat operators are required at all times to be vigilant and constantly monitor the water and their boat.
Unsafe conditions, unpredictable weather, and objects nearby are all factors that a boat operator must be aware of at all times.
Inexperienced boaters and excessive speed usually go hand in hand. Many people rent boats with no boating experience, no training and this becomes dangerous.
With little experience behind a boat, people end up going too fast for conditions and the consequences can be deadly.
What To Do If You’re In A Boating Accident
Here are a few things that can help you make great split-second decisions that could save lives and protect those you love the most.
- Make sure the passengers are safe. If there are kids on board, secure your children and if you can, get life jackets on everyone if possible. See if anyone needs medical attention and use the first aid kit if available.
- Do a headcount. If someone has fallen in the water, get them aboard ASAP. Don’t jump in after them if at all possible, try using a buoy, rope, or floatation device instead.
- Call for HELP! Whether you are using your cell phone or your marine radio – a call for help is needed quickly.
- Get a boating accident report.
- Take pictures at the scene if necessary.
- Don’t talk to insurance companies.
- Consult with an attorney.
Oftentimes, boating accidents wield bodily injury, and calling an experienced lawyer in Myrtle Beach is necessary.
They can take on the big insurance companies and help get you the compensation you deserve; helping get your medical bills paid, lost wages while recuperating and your property damage fixed or replaced.
Boating can be a dangerous activity but knowing what dangers to look for and how to react if there should be an accident, can make all the difference.
Everyone needs to be prepared before hitting the water.
Be sure to talk to your kids about what to do in case an accident takes place and always make them wear their life vests while on board.
It’s also a good idea for parents with kids of all ages to get into the habit of having a safety talk with their children before boating.
This can absolutely save lives and ease any fears.
Now go have fun!