The warm summer and fall months are a great time to enjoy Louisiana’s various waterways. Whether boating, swimming, kayaking, or just relaxing on the beach, Louisiana’s rivers, lakes, and beaches have much to offer. However, when you’re in or near a body of water, you should always keep safety in mind. Below are some tips to help you stay safe while on the water in Louisiana.
Use a life jacket
Regardless of how strong a swimmer you are, you should always wear a life jacket while boating. People who fall overboard often suffer serious injuries that leave them disoriented, injured, or unconscious. In fact, in recent years, nearly 80% of all boating deaths were due to drowning. And almost all of these deaths involved people not wearing life jackets. This statistic clearly demonstrates the necessity of wearing a life jacket while on the water. When choosing a life jacket, you should be sure that:
- it is a proper fit based on your weight and size,
- it is fastened correctly, and
- it is approved for use by the United States Coast Guard.
Don’t drink and boat
Everyone knows you shouldn’t drink and drive. However, for some reason, many people are under the false impression that drinking and boating is acceptable. This couldn’t be further from the truth— alcohol is the leading cause of all recreational boating deaths. Boating conditions often amplify the effects of alcohol, making drinking and boating extremely dangerous. In fact, you should avoid alcohol even as a passenger on a boat, as intoxication can put you at risk of falling overboard or making dangerous decisions. By remaining sober on the water, you greatly increase your odds of returning to shore safely.
Finally, in order to safely enjoy your time on the water, you must always remain prepared. In order to stay safe on the water, you should prepare in the following ways:
- Tell a friend or relative your plans for the day and your expected time of return.
- Check the weather forecast and remain alert to changing weather conditions.
- Dress appropriately based on the weather and use sunscreen.
- Make sure your boat is in good working order before taking it out.
- Make sure you have plenty of fuel.
- Bring a tool kit, first aid kit, and life jackets.
Contact Our Experienced Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana Maritime Attorneys
If you’ve been injured in a maritime accident in Louisiana, you need a team of experienced Louisiana and Gulf of Mexico admiralty and maritime lawyers on your side. At Koch & Schmidt, we provide powerful legal representation to those who have been injured in Louisiana maritime accidents. When you come to us for help, our experienced attorneys will aggressively pursue financial compensation on your behalf. Please contact us as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation.