Throughout the pandemic, more people have been turning to outdoor activities for recreation; especially during nice weather. The risk of COVID-19 transmission is much lower, it’s easy to socially distance, and it’s a great reason to get out of the house after being stuck inside for so long. However, Ohio boating fatalities doubled in 2020. If you’re hitting the water this summer, brush up on your boating safety tips. They could save your life.

Boating Fatalities in 2020

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources requires “all motorized boat and personal watercraft operators born after January 1, 1982, who will be operating a vessel over 10 horsepower” to pass a boating safety course. After the course is completed, they’ll receive a boater education card, which they must carry with them when driving a boat.

Of the 26 boating fatalities in 2020, drugs and alcohol contributed to five of them, and 20 of the deaths were due to failure to wear a life jacket. The Department of Natural Resources and other boating safety authorities are concerned that a lack of boater education is to blame. Thousands of Ohioans bought boats in 2020, and state parks hosted 300 percent more people than they did in 2019. It’s important to be aware of the potential for injury and death, and do your best to prevent them.

General Safety Tips

Whether you’re operating a vessel or riding in one, remember these safety tips.

  • Wear a life jacket. They might not look cool or always be comfortable, but they’ll save your life. Make sure that you have a life jacket available for every person using your boat.
  • Keep a first aid kit on board. In case of injury, a first aid kit can prevent mild to moderate issues from becoming worse. It’s also smart to keep sunblock, hats, bottled water and towels or blankets on the boat, too.
  • Avoid excessive drinking or drug use. You should never drink and drive when you’re on a boat. Passengers would also be wise to avoid drinking excessively because it dulls reaction times and increases drowning risk.
  • Invest in distress signals. In case your cell phone doesn’t work, make sure you have flares and a whistle on board to signal for help.
  • Get a fire extinguisher. Finally, if you operate a motorboat, you’re legally required to have a fire extinguisher on board. Make sure you get the right type for the kind of fires most likely to occur.

Injured in a Boating Accident? Call an Ohio Personal Injury Attorney Right Away

When you’ve been injured in a boating accident thanks to someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical bills, pain and suffering and more. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call my office at 877.614.9524 today for a consultation.

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