Maritime accidents are increasing because there are more people boating who aren’t following the recommended safety procedures. Texas requires that you report boating accidents that result in injury beyond personal first aid abilities, death or property damage exceeding $2,000. Even if the property damage was to your own boat, you need to report it to TPWD (Texas Parks and Wildlife Department).
Wear a life jacket
Some people make the mistake of forgoing a life jacket because they know how to swim. It’s possible for you to lose consciousness while falling into the water if you hit your head. Thus, you should always wear a life jacket, even if you know how to swim. Another benefit of these vests is they help keep you warm when you’re stranded in the water. They make it easier for you to stay afloat, especially in rough waters, as well.
Have a throwable flotation device
In addition to life jackets, you need at least one throwable flotation device. It could assist in saving someone who has fallen into the water.
Don’t drink alcohol while boating
The leading cause of fatal maritime accidents is alcohol. You should stay sober during all of your boating trips. Alcohol impairs your cognition, reaction time, balance and coordination.
Avoid distracted boating
Just as with driving on land, distracted boating increases your risk of accidents. Humans aren’t able to multitask. They quickly change their focus when they are managing multiple tasks, which isn’t the same thing as doing more than one task at the same time. You shouldn’t use your cell phone while you’re operating a boat. Keep your mind focused on safely directing the watercraft.
Use a marine radio on board
You don’t want to be out on the water during a storm. Keeping a marine radio on board could alert you to dangerous conditions that may arise while you’re boating.
Follow all recommended safety tips to help keep yourself, your passengers and others safe while you’re having fun on the water. With more awareness, the trend in boating accidents could slow or reverse.