Living in Florida provides us with the golden opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s finest waters. From inland rivers, Intracoastal waterways, and the great Atlantic – Palm Beach county residents have access to endless potential for fun on the water. You can find almost a dozen marinas between Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and Boynton Beach.
With the fun of skimming along our waterways comes the responsibility of boating safety practices known as following the “Rules of the Road”. No matter how safe and alert you are, a boating accident is sometimes unavoidable.
You can’t control how others behave on the water, and they should be held accountable if they’re responsible for causing a boating accident. Last year, over 70 people died in Florida during a boating accident. Zappitell Law Firm specializes in wrongful death and personal injury cases where someone has been negligent while operating a boat.
Florida law requires anyone born after January 1, 1988, to obtain an FWC-issued Boater Safety Education ID card to operate any watercraft 10hp (horse power) or over. Even so, reviewing some essential boating safety tips is always a good idea whenever possible. Take a look at these safety tips and see if you follow them whenever you and your family are out enjoying the beautiful water landscapes in Florida.
Wear a Life Vest
This is easily the #1 rule in boating safety for anyone on the water. There is a reason for it being a law – it saves lives! You are required to have a life vest for every passenger on your boat. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you don’t need one because you are a good swimmer.
Don’t Drink While Operating Your Boat
It is against the law to operate a boat while under the influence. Putting everyone’s lives at risk because you want to have a few drinks is irresponsible and dangerous. Don’t get on a boat if you think the captain has been drinking. If you are drinking on the boat, leave the captain to his or her job which is to drive the boat and get everyone home safe and sound.
Use an Engine “Cut-Off” Device
So the worst case scenario has happened, a boating accident has occurred and you have been thrown off the boat. To make matters worse, it is now operating uncontrollably with no one at the helm. Having a cut-off device will automatically shut the boat down if you fall off. This device is usually a simple lanyard that attaches to your wrist and the watercraft’s ignition.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When you are operating any kind of water craft, put down your cell phone and keep your eyes on the water. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted. You need to focus on other boats around you and potential hazards above and below the waterline. Someone who causes a boating accident because of carelessness can be held liable in a wrongful death or personal injury case.
Check the Weather Before Getting on the Water
Anyone who lives in Palm Beach county will tell you that the weather can change minute-by-minute. You have to be prepared for any kind of weather when out on the water. Check your local forecast before going out and stay updated while you are out there. Educate yourself on the types of warnings and small craft advisories that can turn a good day on the water into a bad one.
Let Zappitell Law Firm Help You Get the Justice You Deserve
Let our team take on the burden of pursuing your case, allowing you to focus on recovering from your injuries or losing a loved one due to a boating accident. Call Zappitell Law Firm in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and Boca Raton at (561) 330-6330 or click here for a complimentary consultation.