Spending a hot summer day out on the lake is a great way to recharge after a long week of work, to spend some quality time with friends and family, and to get some fresh air and sunshine — especially in the land of 10,000 lakes! But it is important to keep these boating safety tips in mind in order to ensure the safety of you and your passengers.

If you are a victim of a boating injury due to another’s negligence, get the compensation you deserve by contacting a personal injury lawyer at Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis today.

1. Do Not Drink and Boat

All of us know that drinking makes it much more likely that you will hurt or kill someone when driving a car, and the same is true for boats. Because alcohol can dispel anxiety, it becomes easier to feel less afraid and less aware of your surroundings, making it much easier to miss things such as nearby swimmers and other boats. It only takes a split second to make a serious and life-altering mistake behind the wheel of a boat, so make sure that the driver stays sober if you or your friends plan to drink.

2. Wear a Life Jacket

A life jacket is one of the easiest and most simple ways to save lives on the water and is similar to wearing a seat belt in a car. One of the most common causes of drowning deaths are credited to not wearing a life jacket, and even the most skilled and experienced swimmers can experience a cramp or unexpected water conditions that affect their swimming skills. Always be sure to wear a life jacket to avoid the risk of drowning.

3. Pay Constant Attention to Your Surroundings

It is important to keep in mind that things change quickly on the water. New boats can appear out of nowhere, the shore can approach rapidly, wind can cause your boat to drift at a faster rate, and shallow spots in the water can come up out of nowhere. Stay aware of your surroundings at all times in order to ensure the safety of yourself and others.

In need of a personal injury lawyer? Give us a call at Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis today.

4. Be Mindful of the Weather Forecast

Storms can come out of nowhere and create unpredictable conditions such as rough waters and lightning strikes that make boating and swimming unsafe. Be sure to keep an eye on your local weather before heading out on the lake to prevent injuries.

5. Know and Follow Boating and Water Recreation Regulations

While operating a boat, it is important to know the rules of the water for your area. If you are boating in Minnesota, the Minnesota DNR has a list of resources that should be read before heading out onto the water. Some of these rules include:

  • There must be a life jacket for each person onboard a boat
  • Children under the age of 10 must wear a life jacket while onboard a boat
  • Boats must have navigation lights on from sunset to sunrise
  • Clean all visible aquatic plants, mud, and other debris off of your boat before leaving the lake
  • You must complete a Minnesota boating course in order to obtain an operator’s permit

By following these tips, you will be much more likely to have a happy and fun-filled experience on the lake this summer. If you have experienced a boating injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact a personal injury lawyer at Woods & Thompson, P.A. in Minneapolis today.