Boat In Ocean off of Florida Coast

This summer, Florida families will enjoy endless opportunities to soak up the sun and enjoy our state’s beautiful rivers, lakes and oceans. However, before you take to the water, it is important to fully understand the risks associated with boating. With proper planning and preparation, you and your loved ones can enjoy a safe and eventful time on the water. Below are some valuable boating safety tips.

  • Wear life jackets. In Florida,children under the age of 6 must wear a properly fitted life jacket, approved by the U.S. Coast Guard, when onboard any vessel. To ensure the life jacket fits correctly, have children make a "touchdown" signal by raising both arms straight up; if the life jacket hits a child's chin or ears, it may be too big or the straps may be too loose. Outside the geographic boundaries of Florida, children under 13 years of age must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device (PFD), unless the child is in an enclosed cabin or below deck.
  • Exercise caution with water activities. Never allow children to dive into oceans, lakes or rivers. This is dangerous since you never know the depth of the water or what may lie beneath the surface. For those participating in water sports, discuss useful hand signals that will allow them to communicate with the boat. Also, watch the weather reports and alerts. Florida is known for sudden severe thunderstorms especially during the summer months, which can produce dangerous lightening and rough waters.
  • Properly maintain your boat. Always make sure your boat is in top condition before going out on the water. You can receive a free vessel safety check each year from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons.
  • Take a boating safety course. Both adults and older children should consider taking a boating safety course. You will learn in depth safety tips, proper boating procedures, and remain up to date with boating safety regulations.
  • Use wise judgment. Boaters should never drink and operate a vessel. The Coast Guard deems alcohol onboard to be more hazardous than on land, due to additional noises and distractions on the water. Never let a young minor operate a vessel. In Florida, important age restrictions for boating apply. No one under the age of 14 may operate any personal watercraft (PWC) on Florida State Waters.

If You Have Questions About These Boating Safety Tips Call Our Office Today

At the Law Firm of Michael T. Gibson, P.A., we want you and your loved ones to stay safe on the water this summer. If you or a loved one are involved in a boating accident or suffer any personal injury or wrongful death as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is important that you contact an experienced Orlando Personal Injury Attorney immediately. Our experienced team of accident attorneys can help you obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, loss of wages, pain and suffering, etc. Feel free to fill out our quick contact form on our website to discuss your legal options in greater detail.

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