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What can I do to ensure safety while boating?

Though it is not possible to completely guarantee safety, there is a lot to ensure you and your boat occupants are as safe as possible while on the water. You can have your vessel inspected, keep it properly maintained, and follow all boating laws and regulations. However, one of the simplest things you can do is make sure you wear a life vest.

In order to be in compliance with the law, your boat must have enough life vests for each person present on the vessel. These vests must be approved by the Coast Guard, and you should inspect them routinely to ensure they are in proper condition. They should not leak or be waterlogged, as this could be a sign that they are damaged and nonfunctional.

A properly worn life jacket can save your life if your vessel capsizes, you fall out of your boat, or he are involved in a boating accident. A life jacket can hold your head above water and help you breath properly until help arrives. Therefore, this is a critical piece of boating safety that you should be sure to pay attention to.

However, while you can take certain steps to protect yourself, there are many factors that are outside of your control. For example, a drunk boater can slam into your vessel in the blink of an eye. Unfortunately, there is only so much you can do to prevent these types of accidents from occurring. One step you can take, though, if you suffer a boat accident injury, is to consider filing a lawsuit against the negligent or reckless boater who caused your injuries. If successful, you might not only recover compensation for your serious injuries, but also raise awareness of boating dangers so that others act in a safer fashion moving forward.

Source: The U.S. Coast Guard, "Life Jacket Wear/Wearing Your Life Jacket," accessed on April 4, 2015

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