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Summer boating can be fun and safe!

In the summer months, people enjoy traveling to the nearest body of water to boat for recreation. Did you know that in 2013, there were 4,062 boating accidents reported to the National Guard? Of those accidents, 2,620 involved injuries and 560 involved fatalities. The top 3 contributing factors of these accidents were operator inattention, operator inexperience, and keeping improper lookout. While you hit the lake or the river this summer, be sure to keep the following tips in mind to ensure a safe and fun time!

Travel Responsibly

· Always tell someone reliable what your travel plans are. Before setting out on a long voyage, it's recommended that you develop a Float Plan.

· Always wear a life jacket and be sure to carry one for each passenger on board.

· Prepare for the unexpected and be sure to pack necessary emergency items such as extra water, food, and warning flares.

· Boat with a partner.

Educate Yourself and Your Passengers

· Take a boater safety course.

· Know the rules of the waterway.

· Check the weather forecast.

· Know that hypothermia is a risk and be aware of some of the most typical symptoms. Typical symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, impaired judgment, clumsiness, and loss of dexterity.

Use Common Sense

· Always operate at a safe speed.

· Be respectful of buoys and other navigational aids.

· Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings at all times.

· Avoid alcohol and drugs. The probability of a boating accident is increased by 50% when alcohol is involved and studies have shown that the effects of alcohol are exacerbated by both sun and wind.

Be aware that if you are involved in a boating accident, federal law requires the operator of the boat(s) involved to file a Boating Accident Report with the state if an involved person dies, disappears from the vessel, is injured and requires medical treatment beyond basic first aid, the boat is either destroyed, or the damage done is over the amount of $2,000. 

If you are injured in a boating accident, the attorneys at the Manchin Injury Law Group can help.  Call us today to schedule a free consultation.

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Manchin Injury Law Group 1543 Fairmont Avenue Suite 203 Fairmont, WV 26554 Toll Free: 866-903-9632 Phone: 304-816-4097 Fax: 304-367-1867 Fairmont Law Office Map