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Boating Accidents 10.06.2021

Boating Safety: What Should I Do If Capsized?

Michigan boaters enjoy our beautiful Great Lakes.  Visitors see the value in Pure Michigan during the course of the year, as we transition from spring, summer and fall when the boating season ends.

Michigan’s Great Lakes attract fishermen and recreational users from all over the world. The Great Lakes history of fishing goes back centuries. Long before Europeans colonized the great lakes, the indigenous tribes have been fishing the Great Lakes since 2,000 to 3,000 B.C. Michigan families have been cruising the Great Lakes for so many different activities that accompany boating like water skiing, wake surfing, fishing, and more. Michigan has over 1300 public boating access sites and over 80 harbors.

With around 13 million vessels registered in the United States, Michigan is usually ranked in the top three, with just over one million registered boat owners in Michigan, using the waterways.

Boating brings fun and adventure on the waters, but with this fabulous activity comes boat safety hazards. And although many issues can be easily taken care of with a Michigan safety checklist to be followed before each trip, some accidents occur due to weather conditions on the water or the boat owner’s error.

The most common boating accidents happen due to negligence or carelessness (for example, the boat plug missing or unsecured, excessive speed, bilge pump inoperable, alcohol or drug use, weather conditions, and large waves or wakes that can cause a boat to capsize or list.

A capsizing or boating listing caused by the off-centerline distribution of weight aboard can be due to uneven loading or to flooding. This leads to a complete loss of control for those in the boat, and usually means being thrown into the water. These two hazards can be a nightmare for the boat passengers. To avoid capsizing or listing, the boat operator must take the following boat safety measures:

  • Make sure boat plug is screwed in before placing boat in water.
  • Never overload your boat with people or cargo.
  • Prohibit passengers from all riding on one side of the boat, such as the bow, sides of the boat, or other areas where weight is concentrated.
  • Make sure to distribute weight or balance boat weight evenly.
  • Avoiding speeding when making turns.

If you find yourself in a sinking boat situation, there are several important safety survival steps to take:

  • Use a life vest.
  • If you are in the water, grab onto a flotation device if you are wearing a life vest.
  • Boat owner should do a headcount and try to account for all passengers, as well as provide life vest if possible.
  • If the boat is floating and stable to climb back onto the boat, or if not, try to hold onto the boat for safety, if safe to do so.
  • With life  vest on, concentrate on treading water or float using your life jacket.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of another boat driver, contact the expert boat accident injury lawyers at the Joseph Dedvukaj Firm. We’ve helped victims all over Michigan get compensation for their boat accident damages and  boat injury medical expenses.



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All blogs are written on behalf of The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C., for informational purposes only. No article should, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.

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The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C represents Michigan clients in a full range of personal injury matters. If you have been injured, contact us for a free consultation.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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