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Four Ways to Prevent Boating Accidents in Las Vegas

When it comes time to get back into the water, the Adam S. Kutner Accident & Injury Attorneys Las Vegas boat accident lawyers want everyone to be safe from accidents. The best way to avoid being hurt in a boating accident is not to have one. Boating accidents can range from slips and falls on the dock to collisions on the open water. Whether you have your own boat or are renting one for the day, you will need to take care and follow a few common-sense rules and regulations so you can have an enjoyable day on the water.

A little foresight and planning can keep you and your loved ones safe and prevent any boating accidents before they ever happen. Adam S. Kutner Accident & Injury Attorneys offers these tips for a pleasant day on Lake Mead or any other water around Las Vegas.

Take a Boating Safety Class. All owners and operators of boats over 15 horsepower or any personal watercraft (PWC) who were born after 1983 are required to obtain a boating license and pass a boating safety course. You can take these courses online, or via the Nevada Department of Wildlife. These classes will give you information on how to safely operate your vessel, the regulations for personal floatation devices, and other safety tips.

Keep Your Boat Maintained and Supplied. Just like your car, your boat should be regularly serviced and maintained. If your boat is going to be unused for a long period of time, it should not be left in the water. Whether it has been left in the water or drydocked, it should be inspected before being launched after a long time out of service. Make sure that you have enough safety equipment, including life jackets, first aid kits, flares, and tow lines. Never assume that things are still there in the spring just because you had them in the fall. If you have rented a boat for the day, ask the rental agent to show you where everything is kept on the vessel.

Pay Attention. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the number one cause of boating accidents is operator inattention, just ahead of operator inexperience. Paying attention does not only mean paying attention to what goes on once you are on the boat. Check the weather before heading out on the water and consider postponing your trip if the weather looks stormy or windy. Keep an eye on your passengers, especially children and those who cannot swim. Watch out for other vessels, including commercial vessels, if you go out on the open water.

Never Drink and Boat. The rules for drinking and boating are the same as for drinking and driving: don’t do it. In Nevada, the legal limit for operating a boat or personal watercraft is the same as for a car, .08% BAC. The U.S. Coast Guard warns that the effects of alcohol may be increased after sitting in the sun all day, due to dehydration and people’s tendency not to eat. The penalties for drinking while boating are the same as drinking and driving, but the outcomes may be more serious since a collision far from shore makes rescue much more difficult.

If You Do Have an Accident While Boating

If you are involved in a boating accident, you should do just about the same things you would do in a vehicle accident, with a few added steps.

  • Call for help immediately. Because you are in the water, rescue must begin at once and may take some time to arrive.
  • Ensure all passengers have flotation devices. If anyone has gone overboard, throw them an additional float if it is available.
  • Unless you are well-trained in water rescue, do not attempt to rescue anyone who is injured. Water rescue requires specialized training and equipment.
  • Make sure everyone on your vessel is accounted for. When rescuers arrive, give them the names and ages of everyone who was on your boat. Do not panic if anyone is not with you. They may have been picked up by another vessel.

Once everyone is safely ashore, seek medical attention and attempt to get the names of witnesses and other parties as you would for any accident. If your vessel is a rental, be sure to notify the rental company of the accident.

Contact Us

Adam S. Kutner Accident & Injury Attorneys hopes you will never need any of this advice. If you do, call us at (702) 382-0000 or contact us online for a free and confidential consultation. Our attorneys know the boating laws and the best ways to get you compensation for injuries you sustained in a boating accident that wasn’t your fault.