Boating Safety Reminders as Spring Weather Arrives in Biloxi
Weather experts at the Sun Herald have great news for anyone seeking to spend some time outdoors this week: The sunny days and warmer temperatures of Spring are coming our way, inviting Biloxi residents to get out for fun activities like hiking, bicycling, and boating. With the great weather comes an increase in water sports enthusiasts heading to the =beaches, bayous and barrier islands. Therefore, it’s smart to review some boating safety tips to avoid maritime accidents that can cause serious injury and – in severe cases – even death.
- Avoid Alcohol: Not only is it illegal to operate a watercraft while intoxicated, consuming alcohol while boating is extremely dangerous. Your ability to anticipate and respond to various factors on the water is reduced just as it is when you’re driving a car. Any combination of conditions may lead to accidents that cause serious injuries.
- Check the Weather: Even if the sky is clear when you depart, storms can creep up out of nowhere – especially over the Gulf where the expansive water helps them move quickly. Review the forecast to see if there’s any activity in the area and avoid venturing out if severe weather or wind is on the way.
- Use Personal Flotation Devices Responsibly: You must have enough PFDs onboard for every passenger, but it’s not against the law for certain individuals to go without one on their bodies. Still, responsible boating requires you to exercise caution and wear a life preserver if the circumstances warrant. If a storm hits, everyone should don a PFD; for those who aren’t strong swimmers, it’s smart to have one handy. Also, if there are children on board, be sure to have a PFD that fits them.
- Create a Float Plan: A “float plan” is a written document that outlines the details of your water adventure and it’s smart to file one with a marina or trusted person. If an unexpected event leaves you stranded, the individual can refer to your float plan and alert authorities to provide assistance in that general vicinity.
- Develop a Pre-Embarkation Checklist: Smart boaters don’t leave the dock without going through a checklist to review the craft’s safety features and systems, and ensure everything that should be onboard is present. You’re less likely to be without critical gear if you have a pre-embarkation procedure to follow.
Contact a Qualified Biloxi Maritime Accident Attorney
Even with the highest level of care on the water, maritime accidents can still occur due to the negligence or recklessness of other boaters. If you’re hurt as a result, you may be able to seek compensation for your medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other damages. The key to success in recovering a financial award is to entrust your case with a skilled personal injury lawyer that has specific experience in maritime accidents. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy Guice have been serving clients in the Biloxi and Gulfport area for decades, ensuring they receive the compensation they deserve under Mississippi law. Please contact our law offices today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case.