May 19 to May 25 is observed as National Safe Boating Week. The United States Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary ask all recreational boaters to be safe and to take precautions before taking to the water this season. A recent press release regarding National Safe Boating Week stated that there were more than 4,700 boating accidents in the year 2009. These boating accidents resulted in 700 deaths and thousands of injuries. Approximately 75 percent of fatal boating accidents involved drowning and 84 percent of the fatally injured victims were not wearing life jackets.
All New Jersey boaters should get a Vessel Safety Check before putting their boat in the water. This is a free service provided by the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the U.S. Power Squadron and involves safety checks on boats that take less than 15 minutes. During the check-up, each boat will be inspected to make sure that there is safety equipment on board that it is in working order.
Once you have determined that your boat is ready for safe use, remember to practice safe habits on the water. Never take your boat out during adverse conditions or when the winds are picking up and the sky is darkening. Operate at safe speeds and slow down if you feel that you are not in complete control. Never take your boat out without a second person on board who can safely maneuver the boat, make sure there is a life jacket for everyone on board, and never operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol.
The New Jersey wrongful death lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein have years of experience helping families receive compensation following a fatal boating accident. If you or a loved one is hurt in a boating accident this summer, please call our offices at (609) 240-0040 for a free case evaluation.