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How to avoid boating accidents in California

Just before the Fourth of July holiday, the California Department of Boating and Waterways issued a reminder to boaters to excercise care and caution out on the waters. Boating accidents are more likely to occur in California over the Fourth than any other holiday, however, it is important that boaters are responsible and follow the rules of the water all year long.

When boaters are reckless, the results can be catastrophic. 

According to the California Department of Boating and Waterways, the number one cause of boat accidents is the inattention of operators. One way to avoid operator inattention leading to an accident is to ask another person on the boat to serve as a lookout. This person can then alert the boat's operator to any risks that may arise.

The DBW also lists a number of additional tips to stay safe out there on California's waters. Among them are the following:

  1. Operators and passengers should avoid drunken boating.
  2. Wear a properly fitted life vessel.
  3. Do not operate a boat or watercraft at unreasonable speeds.
  4. Use water ski flags properly.
  5. Learn and follow the rules of boating. For example, boats on the right-hand side generally have the right-of-way.

When people are injured in boating accidents in California, they have the right to pursue compensation from any negligent party. In tragic accidents, surviving family members of drowning victims may have the right to file a wrongful death claim. Those who have suffered as the result of a boating or watercraft accident may wish to seek legal counsel to learn about their legal rights.


Source: Lake County News, "Avoid a boating accident this July 4 holiday," July 2, 2013

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