Boating season is in full swing in Massachusetts. Summer fun also carries responsibility and boating safety tips may help prevent a boating accident. Unfortunately, individuals who hunt and fish from boats have one of the highest boating fatality rates. It is important for summer revelers out boating to be familiar with how to stay safe on the water.

First, it is important to be aware of the weather and any sudden changes in the weather. A portable radio can also be helpful to monitor weather changes. It is also important to bring appropriate gear, including waterproof gear, and to store it in a waterproof container or a container that can float. Boaters should ensure that someone is aware where they are going, who they are going with and how long they expect to be gone.

Boaters should also make sure to check boating equipment such as the engine and fuel level and to properly ventilate after refueling. Though it may seem simple, it is important to use care when changing seats in the boat. It is also important to be educated and aware concerning boating etiquette, such as rights of way on the water, and may be useful to take a boater safety course. Some important safety precautions include boating at a safe distance from swimming areas; boating at safe speeds, especially taking into account weather conditions remembering that for inland waters speeds greater than 45 mph is considered negligent operation; and not to overload the vessel, as well as some other types of safety precautions that it is important to observe.

Though some circumstances and situations boaters may find themselves in may vary, depending on the type of boating being done, it is important for all boaters to be familiar with boater safety and ways to help avoid an accident. While it is important to be prepared for a variety of different types of circumstances while on the water, boaters should keep in mind that in Massachusetts it is illegal to operate any vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, because boating accidents can result in serious injuries and even fatalities, victims of a boating accident or fatal boating accident should be familiar with legal options to help them in that situation.

Source: Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, “Safety Tips,” Accessed July 20, 2015