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Avoid Recreational Boating Accidents This Summer

Posted on Jun 24, 2021 in Personal Injury, Uncategorized

Those trying to escape the heat and catch some sun may head out on a boat to Lake Pontchartrain or the Gulf of Mexico, or other Louisiana waterways this summer. The water offers many fun recreational activities like sailing, fishing, and waterskiing. However, boating isn’t always fun and games, and unsafe boating practices can lead to serious injuries, drowning, and death.  Boats can capsize, sink, crash, and even catch on fire. Any boating accident could easily ruin your summer and possibly even your life. Our boating accident attorneys here at Bloom Legal are dedicated just as much to boat safety as we are to helping you win in court. To prevent boating injuries first you must be aware of the common causes of boating accidents. 

What Causes Boat Accidents?

  • Impaired Boating/Boating Under The Influence 
Just like when driving a car, it is illegal to operate a boat while drinking, yes even in New Orleans. A boat is still a type of vehicle. Unfortunately, many boating accidents come about by drunk boaters. If you or someone you know was injured or killed in a boat accident and you believe alcohol was a factor, a boating accident lawyer from Bloom Legal will assist you in seeking substantial compensation for your losses. 
  • Inexperienced Boaters
Another factor that contributes to many boat accidents is lack of experience. Even seasoned boat operators may feel overwhelmed and even a bit out of their depth when confronted with crowded waterways or harsh weather. Boating in unfamiliar bodies of water can also prove challenging. Never leave shore without a co-captain to help you navigate. 
  • Boating in Unsafe Waters
Strong currents or winds, big waves, anything like that can cause boat accidents, especially for smaller recreational vessels. People who go boating without checking the forecast and water conditions first increase their chances of an accident. For your own safety, always be aware of the weather conditions and head back to shore if a storm starts rolling in. 
  • Mechanical Defects In The Boat
Boats rely on intricate mechanical systems to operate, and if any portion of this system fails or malfunctions it can be harmful. There is often nothing you can do to prevent an accident if the boat malfunctions or has a defect. You can and should check your engines before leaving shore, but if it is a manufacturing issue, there might be no way to tell there’s something wrong until the accident occurs. 

How to Stay Safe During a Boating Accident 

Before you even leave the dock, make sure you have a life jacket for every passenger on board. If your boat sinks completely or catches on fire there is no telling how long you might have to wait before the Coast Guard, harbor police, or another recreational boat can pick you up out of the water. A personal floatation device is essential in these situations.  If you have a working phone or boat radio or walkie talkie call the coast guard or neighboring watercraft for help. If you do not have any working communication device, there are a number of different specific sailing distress flags, but the universal flag for distress in US waters is an orange flag preferably with a black circle and a black square on it. You can also get the attention of passing vessels with a smoke signal or flashing S.O.S. in Morse Code (three short flashes and three longer flashes, followed by three short ones again) with a mirror, flashlight, or flare.  Once you have been rescued by another vessel, make sure any injured passengers get immediate first aid, and once on shore seek medical attention for severe injuries. 

Call A Louisiana Boating Accident Attorney 

Once everyone’s injuries have been examined and treated, you should contact an attorney. Medical treatment for boating injuries can be extremely expensive, and if you are eligible for financial compensation from the responsible parties you should pursue it.  At Bloom Legal our New Orleans boat accident lawyers will help you get the money you deserve. Call us at 504-599-9997 to schedule a free consultation.   

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