Boating in Florida
While many people across the country are putting their boats up for the winter, many Floridians feel as if it just the perfect weather to take it -some even for the first time this year as our summers are so hot.
It is all too easy for people who are boating and swimming in Florida all of their lives to become complacent and overly confident in their abilities while out on the water. And because alcohol often goes hand-in-hand with water activities, people participating in these activities may have impaired judgment and underestimate the risks of injury or death.
The two biggest boating related injuries are drownng and head and neck injuries.
Equipment Recommended For Safe Boating
Boating safely means having the right equipment on board for all emergencies, big and small. Make sure to bring or keep these items on the boat at all times:
- Boating First Aid – Maintain a first aid kit stocked with basic supplies (gauze, bandages, alcohol cleaning pads, aspirin, etc.).
- Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) – The U.S. Coast Guard and/or state laws require you to have at least one approved PFD (also called life jackets and life vests) for each passenger when you are in a boat. Some types of vessels are also required to carry a cushion or ring that can be thrown to a person in the water.
- Signaling Devices – Keep day and nighttime signaling devices on your boat including a sound maker,horn or whistle, distress flag, flares and/or a fog system.
- Fire Extinguisher – Hopefully you’ll never need it, but you must have a fire extinguisher with you while you’re on the water.
- Boat Anchor – To keep from running aground in bad weather or as a result of engine failure, every boat needs an adequate anchor.
- Tow Ropes & Dock Lines – Make sure you have an extra tow rope in case you or another boater is stranded and needs a lift. Dock lines also come in handy when you need to tie up to someone’s pier.
- Marine VHF Radio & Cell Phone – Keep a VHF radio on your boat at all times and bring your cell phone along too.
Boating Accidents in Orlando
More than half of all fatalities resulting from boating accidents involve alcohol to some extent. And although operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol is absolutely illegal in Florida, there still plenty of boaters who take the risk every year, only to find it end up with disastrous results.
Implications of BUI in Boating Accidents
Any time an accident results in serious injury or death the at-fault party will come under extreme scrutiny regarding whether or not he or she was impaired at the time of the accident. In the end, the risk of injury and death from an alcohol-related boating accident simply isn’t worth the trouble of drinking while operating the boat. Have a designated driver- even when on the water.