A few years ago on 4th of July, three people were tragically killed in two separate boating accidents at lakes in the Charlotte region. At least one accident involved a boat operator who was allegedly intoxicated while the other occurred late at night.
As an avid water-skier, I have my share of close call with careless boaters including one incident on Lake Norman when a speed boat came between me and my boat while I was skiing. The speed boat came so close to hitting me that when I let go of the ski rope the boat ran over rope and chewed up the handle. The speed boat never stopped.
When done safely, spending time on the lake can be a wonderful experience for everyone involved. When acting in a careless or negligent manner, the results, as with this past 4th of July, can be tragic. Therefore, we suggest that you follow a number of common-sense safety tips next time you are on the water to avoid being injured in a boating accident:
- Familiarize yourself with the boat you are operating and ensure you are properly trained to operate the boat in a safe manner;
- Learn and follow all recognized boater safety rules and regulations including regulations applicable to the particular lake you are on;
- Avoid alcohol while operating a boat;
- Pay attention to your surroundings and always keep a proper lookout for other boats, watercraft or persons on or in the water nearby;
- As with driving a car, avoid distracted driving of the boat by not texting or otherwise being distracted by personal electronic devices;
- Always check the local weather to make sure conditions are suitable for boating. If you notice darkening clouds, a sudden change in temperature or high winds, play it safe by getting off the water;
- Make sure there are an appropriate number of suitable flotation devices on the boat and that children are properly secured in a life jacket;
- Slow your speed in congested conditions and when operating a boat at night;
- Watch out for low water areas or submerged objects; and
- Learn how to swim.
We hope that if you follow these and other safety practices you and your family will have a safe and enjoyable time while boating. If you or a loved one are injured in a boating accident in North Carolina, contact a boating accident lawyer at Warren & Kallianos.