Florida Boating: Can Your Passengers Swim?

If only life could be so easy as going out and having a great time without having to worry about a list of to-do’s and minutiae!

Unfortunately, the rewards of kicking back are usually accompanied with tasks to do both before and after—and boating is a perfect example. Not only is there the maintenance of the boat (ongoing—and we all know what they say about boats and expenses) but a safety checklist that must be referred to before leaving the dock.

Boats can be a great form of recreation, allowing vacationers and Floridians to enjoy that famous southern sunshine as well as fresh air, saltwater, glimpses of a variety of wildlife, and quality time spent with family and friends. Under some circumstances though, they can lead to accidents and catastrophe.

While defective manufacturing or products are sometimes to blame, boating accidents often occur during the best of weather, under light winds and calm water.

For a number of reasons, boats may capsize, or passengers may fall overboard, leading to serious injuries or drowning. Swimming accidents can occur during a day of boating also, whether off the beach or while anchored.

Life jackets are one of the best ways to prevent drowning and are required by Florida law. As you make sure you have enough of them on board for all your passengers, take time to inquire about the swimming experience of everyone on board too.

This is helpful especially if you are planning a day with everyone in the water—as well as gaining a heads up on who may have weaker swimming skills in the case of an emergency. If you find out that one or more of your passengers are non-swimmers, you may want to ask them to wear a life jacket during the time they are on the boat or in water that could be deep enough for drowning.

If you are well-familiarized with the area where you will be boating, alert any non-swimmers to areas that are not good for wading or ask that they stay out of the water. This could be a life or death issue, so be sure to set boundaries as the operator of the boat who is responsible for getting everyone home safely.

Were you injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of others? If so, please call Heintz & Becker today to consult with a skilled boat accident lawyer. Our attorneys have helped victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida get compensation for their damages and medical expenses.

Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help, and if you cannot come to us, we will come to you.

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.