Boating Safety Tips For A Fun, Safe Time On The Water

At Lake of the Ozarks, most of the summer is spent on the water. Although the end of summer is approaching, there are still a couple months left in the boating season. With Labor Day Weekend coming up and plenty of weekends still on the horizon, there will be many boats out on the Lake. It is important to always be cautious whenever you are out on the water, especially if there are a lot of boaters. In today's blog, your Lake of the Ozarks attorneys offer a few tips to help keep you and your family safe while out on the water.

1. Always Wear a Life Jacket

Wearing a life jacket is a very simple task that that is extremely effective in saving lives. Missouri law requires boats to have U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets on board for every passenger on their watercraft. However, many people do not wear them. If you are in a boating accident, you may not have time to reach for your life jacket. Children under the age of seven are required to wear a life jacket whenever they are on a boat, unless they are in the cabin area of a houseboat or cruiser.

2. Do Not Drink and Drive

Just like you do not drink and drive a car, you should not operate a boat while drinking alcohol or under the influence of drugs. The dangers of drunk driving can be even more hazardous on water than on land. Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol can affect your judgement, vision, balance and coordination, which can increase the risk of being in a boating accident. Do not put yourself and your passengers in danger by making sure you always have a sober driver. In addition, boating while intoxicated is a criminal offense that can result in jail and/or a significant fine.

3. Pay Attention to the Weather

Weather conditions can change quickly, especially in Missouri. Hazardous conditions can easily catch boaters off guard. Before launching your boat, take a look at the weather forecast. If you are already out on the water, note the current weather conditions. Sudden wind changes, lightning flashes, and choppy water can indicate an oncoming storm. If bad weather is approaching, get off the water as soon as possible.

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4. Keep an Emergency Kit on Board

Having an emergency kit on board is a good idea. Make sure it is kept in a dry bag or flotation pouch. Some things to keep in the kit are a cell phone, maps, flares and a first aid kit.

5. Tell Someone Else

Make sure to tell friends and family about your boating trip. Tell them where you are going and when you will be back. This way if something happens to you, such as getting stranded, someone will know to come looking and have a general idea of where to look.

If You Are In Need of Legal Representation, Remember PMCW

Our Lake of the Ozarks law firm hopes you have a safe and fun time while out on the water. If you do happen to find yourself in an accident and in need of a personal injury attorney, the team at Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter & Welch, P.C. is here for you.  You may be able to seek financial compensation for your injuries, depending on the situation. Visit our website at or call us at 573-346-7231 to learn more. 

Law Offices of Phillips, McElyea, Carpenter, & Welch, P.C.
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