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Attention to safety can prevent a boating accident


Recreational boating has long been a popular activity in Louisiana. Whether one is out on the water fishing, waterskiing or just relaxing, boats and boating are central to many people's lives. But, boating comes with some risks, and a boating accident can result in serious injuries or death. Fortunately, many boating accidents are preventable if boaters follow some basic safety tips.

Wearing a life jacket is probably the most fundamental safety tip. Most drowning victims are boaters who were not wearing a lifejacket. And, if people don't know how to swim, they should find a place that offers lessons and learn.

Alcohol should always be avoided when boating. Research has shown that the use of alcohol doubles the likelihood of a boating accident.

Boats should always be operated at a safe speed, especially when there are a lot of boats or swimmers in the area. Recreational boaters should keep a safe distance from large vessels. Be mindful of buoys and similar aids to navigation; they are there for people's safety. It's also extremely important, before people go out on a boat, to let others know where they are going and when they plan to return.

Boaters should always be aware of weather conditions. Pay attention to forecasts and if rough water or threatening conditions appear, get to shore as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately, even the safest and most conscientious boater can be injured or killed by the negligence of another boater. When this happens, the victim or surviving next of kin have the right to seek compensation in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.

Source: discoverboating.com, "Safe Boating Tips," accessed Sept. 18, 2016

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