Heading out on the water might be your plan, but even in the winter, boating safety is a must. Waters are cold, and hypothermia is a real risk if you get wet or are exposed to the elements for too long. Fortunately, there are some ways you can help yourself and your co-workers or family members stay safe on the water.
First, always wear life jackets. While you might be a good swimmer, the cold water shocks the body and makes it hard to swim or catch your breath. Make sure the life jacket is the right size and made to support your weight.
Another thing to do is to make sure you never ride with someone who is drunk. Alcohol affects the way a person thinks and responds, and it is involved in around a third of all recreational boating fatalities. Both passengers and drivers are at a higher risk of injury and death if they are drunk while boating, so stay sober to stay safe.
Another good idea is to take a course on boating in the winter. Boating can be harsher in the elements, and you need to know what to do if you're impacted by sudden ice storms or dangerous waves and winds. Boating education courses also make sure the driver and passengers understand the laws of boating, keeping your boat operating safely.
If you're involved in a boating accident, you're not alone. Many people have suffered as a result of these accidents, and you can be compensated if the driver was negligent or unsafe. Our website has more information on the steps to take next.