As Memorial Day draws near and the temperatures continue to rise, there’s one thing you can be sure of in South Carolina—we’ll all be flocking to area beaches, rivers, and lakes in no time,hoping to erase the memories of our icy and frigid winter. For most of us, these trips give us an opportunity to relax, connect with family and friends, and hopefully catch a tan.
It’s important to remember, though, that fun on the water can come with risks. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were more than 3,300 boating casualties in the U.S. in 2012. This week marks National Safe Boating Week, which runs from May 17 until May 23, 2014. This awareness campaign is scheduled annually for the weekend before Memorial Day, and its goal is to promote safety on the water.
Before putting your boat in the water this summer, here are a few tips to help keep you safe:
- Check the weather so you’re not caught off guard. A severe summer thunderstorm can easily capsize a vessel.
- Leave a boat plan. Choose a responsible person, and make sure they know the details, such as where you’re going and when you’ll return. That way, they’ll know when and where to look if you can’t make it back to shore. Also, when possible, carry a cell phone.
- Check your fuel, oil, and battery life. This reminder is especially important if you’re putting your vessel in the water for the first time since last summer. Over time, the water in ethanol gas separates from the fuel, which can cause your motor to stop running unexpectedly.
- Don’t drink and boat. Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your ability to operate a vessel and can lead to criminal charges.
- Wear life jackets. Many people avoid wearing life jackets while on the water, but wearing a proper personal flotation device is key to water safety.
This is only a small portion of the boating safety recommendations. For more information on boating and water safety, check out the National Safe Boating Council and the SC Department of Natural Resources.
All of us at Bell Legal Group hope you have a fun and lively summer enjoying all of the water activities South Carolina has to offer. By following proper boating procedures, we hope you and your family will stay safe. If you do run into trouble, however, our South Carolina attorneys are available to discuss how we can help with potential claims involving boating accidents, personal injuries, and product failures throughout the state, including Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, Little River, Charleston, Columbia, Beaufort, Hilton Head, Greenville, Spartanburg, and Florence.
Disclaimer: The information presented on any websites or newsletters for Bell Legal Group should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. The information provided herein is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice in any way.