Florida residents are used to the blistering heat waves and random rainstorms that tend to accompany the summer season. As temperatures race to the high 90s, skippers across the state start packing their bags, loading their families, and departing for fun boating adventures. There are several excellent boating destinations both in and around the Florida Panhandle that cater to adventurists, tourists, fishermen, and animal enthusiasts.
However, boating can be a dangerous pastime when weather conditions turn sour; in fact, safety experts recommend staying off the water when it starts raining – especially in Florida, where our summer storms are paired with thunder and lightning. In fact, according to the Florida Climate Center, “no other part of the nation has more thunderstorm activity than Florida” and “Central Florida’s frequency of summer thunderstorms equals that of the world’s maximum thunderstorm areas.”
When it does start raining, a boater also needs to contend with poor visibility, deadly wave conditions, and the likelihood of encountering reckless, inexperienced, and inebriated captains. Unfortunately, it’s not unusual to come across a boater who doesn’t know – or blatantly ignores – state laws and best safety practices.
It all comes down to preparation. While it’s true that you can’t control the actions of others, let alone the weather, the boating accident lawyers at Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC have a few tips that can help you stay safe this summer season:
- Be mindful of weather alerts, potential storm forecasts, and wind patterns.
- Don’t plan an excursion if the weather looks iffy.
- Never operate a watercraft while intoxicated.
- Let a friend or family member know when you’re going to be out on the water.
- Develop a Float Plan that lists your itinerary, available communication methods, boat registration information, and the names and phone numbers of everyone on the boat.
- Make sure everyone on your boat – including children and pets – is wearing a personal flotation device.
- If it starts raining, activate your boat’s radar (if equipped) and turn on the navigation lights.
- Operate your watercraft at a safe speed and don’t drop anchor until you reach shore.
- If visibility is poor, use your horn to make sure nearby boaters are aware of your general location.
- Also, be wary of fleeing watercraft and keep an eye out for potential hazards and shore markers (like buoys).
You can download a Float Plan template from the U.S. Coast Guard website. Once you complete your personalized plan, send it to trustworthy and dependable people who can help you out in an emergency.
Have You Been Injured by the Reckless Actions of Boater?
Poor weather and water conditions do not excuse acts of negligence. All boaters need to operate their watercraft with the safety and well being of others in mind. Contact the boating accident attorneys at Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC if you’ve been injured by the actions of a reckless boater. Our experienced litigators can investigate your case, represent your interests, and craft a litigation strategy that holds the at-fault party accountable for any medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and more.
We’re available 24/7. Contact Lauri J. Goldstein & Associates, PLLC at (866) 675-4427 to schedule a free consultation.