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15 Boating Safety Tips for a Rainy Day in Texas

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Texas residents are used to the sweltering heat waves and random rainstorms that define the summer and fall seasons. As temperatures bounce between the low 80s and high 90s, skippers across the state may tempt fate (and a hurricane) by departing for fun boating adventures. There are over 300 lakes scattered throughout Texas that cater to vacationers, adventurers, and fishing enthusiasts. However, boating is an incredibly dangerous hobby when weather conditions take a turn for the worst; in fact, safety experts highly recommend staying off the water when it starts raining – especially during hurricane season.

Lake or ocean, when it rains, a skipper needs to contend with deadly wave conditions, poor visibility, and the likelihood of encountering anxious, inexperienced, and inebriated boaters. This policy applies whether you’re a kayaker, deep-sea fisherman, or a leisurely explorer in a float tube. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon to cross paths with a boater who doesn’t know – or happily ignores – state laws and best boating safety practices.

You can’t control the actions of others, let alone the weather, but you can prepare for a worst-case scenario. To help you stay safe on the water, the boating accident attorneys at the Daspit Law Firm have compiled the following safety tips:

  1. Be mindful of hurricane warnings, storm forecasts, and other weather alerts.
  2. Research a company’s history and reviews before renting or chartering a boat.
  3. Review state boating laws and regulations before taking a cruise.
  4. Make sure your boat is properly secured before a storm.
  5. Stay indoors if the wind is too strong or the water conditions look questionable.
  6. Never, under any circumstances, operate a watercraft while intoxicated.
  7. Tell a friend or family member when you’re going to be out on the water.
  8. Fill out a Float Plan that lists your itinerary, location, available communication methods, boat registration information, and the names/phone numbers of every member of your party.
  9. Make certain that every person (and pet!) on your boat is wearing a personal floatation device.
  10. Always operate your watercraft at a safe speed.
  11. Keep watch for speeding watercraft and slow swimmers.
  12. If it starts raining, activate your boat’s radar options (if equipped) and use the navigation lights.
  13. Don’t drop anchor until you reach the shore and never use ropes that are frayed or worn.
  14. If visibility is poor, keep using your horn and lights to make sure nearby boaters are aware of your general location.
  15. Be wary of potential shore-side hazards, like large rocks and shore markers.

The United States Coast Guard has developed a Float Plan template that you can download from the agency’s website. After you fill out this form, send it to a trustworthy and dependable person who can notify a rescue agency in an emergency.

Have You Sustained Injuries in a Boating Accident?

Poor water and weather conditions do not excuse a boater’s negligent actions. A boater, like any other vehicle driver, needs to operate their watercraft with the safety of others in mind. If an accident occurs because a boater failed to exhibit a reasonable standard of care, the injured parties may have grounds to file a personal injury claim and pursue damages for their losses. Contact the boating accident lawyers at the Daspit Law Firm if you or a loved one has been injured by the actions of a negligent boater. Our experienced legal team can investigate your case, calculate the value of your claim, and craft a litigation strategy that holds the at-fault parties accountable for your medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and more.

We’re available 24/7! Contact the Daspit Law Firm at (888) 273-1045 to arrange a free case evaluation with our renown attorneys.

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