New York State is a beautiful place to enjoy all forms of watercraft. With fun, though, comes danger. Our attorneys have compiled some important tips to help stay safe while enjoying your summer on the water.
First, life jackets are essential. They’re required to be worn while on any watercraft less than 21 feet in length. For larger watercrafts, one life jacket must be on board for each person, and it must be an appropriate size. If a child is younger than 12, he must wear a life jacket if he’s on a watercraft smaller than 65 feet unless he’s in an enclosed cabin.
Why are life jackets so important? They save lives! Drowning is the leading cause of death in boating accidents, and in 2017, 84% of victims who drowned weren’t wearing life jackets. Even strong swimmers need them! If you fall out of a watercraft, you easily can become disoriented, injured, or unconscious. A life jacket will keep your head above water until you are re-oriented or rescued.
Second, know and keep a copy of the Rules of the Road from the U.S. Printing Shop on your watercraft. Knowing these rules will help prevent accidents that may occur on crowded waterways such as who has the right-of-way when two watercraft approach each other in the open water.
Last, be prepared before you head out on the water. Consider taking a boat-safety course so you know what to do in case of an emergency. Be sure your equipment is working well. Check the weather and water conditions, and don’t tackle conditions beyond your abilities. Make sure that you have everything you need in your boat, including tools and a first-aid kit. Don’t forget sunscreen!
If you’ve been involved in an accident while on the water, The Coppola Firm can help. Our team of experienced attorneys can inform you of your rights and guide you through the troubling waters created by your injuries.