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Summer Boating Safety in Connecticut

With summer finally here, many Connecticut residents’ thoughts turn back to the joy of boating. The state is renowned for the many opportunities offered to boaters, with the state operating over 100 public boat launches that provide access to lakes, streams, and the beautiful Long Island Sound. Before heading off to enjoy Connecticut’s waterways, it is important that you make sure that you are complying with the state’s laws and that you reacquaint yourself with the basics of boating safety. The better prepared you are and the more common sense you use, the safer you and your passengers will be and the less risk of personal injury.

As much enjoyment as boats and boating provide, they also have many inherent risks. Boating accidents happen when people don’t pay attention to boat maintenance or the “rules of the road”. Most accidents involve collisions with other boats or objects, and this is often a function of a boat driver drinking or not paying careful attention.

Many times these collisions can result in injury or drowning, particularly when passengers are not wearing life jackets or equipped with personal flotation devices. Take the time to ensure that everybody on board is properly equipped.

One of the most tragic causes of boat passenger injury or death is carbon monoxide poisoning. This can befall those who are swimming behind a boat or being towed through the water, but it can also happen to those onboard when air currents pull boat exhaust into the cabin or cockpit. Carbon monoxide is both tasteless and odorless, so it is essential that boat owners are aware of the risks and take appropriate precautions and make sure that their boats are properly ventilated.

Another way to prevent accidents and injuries while onboard your boat is to make sure that you have all of the required equipment. This depends upon the size of the boat, but generally speaking all boats need to have a backfire flame arrestor, personal flotation devices for each person on board or being towed on water skis, sound-producing devices such as a whistle, visual distress signals for use when operating at night, and at least one fire extinguisher.

Responsible boat owners and operators will take the time to ensure that they have taken all of these precautions and operate their boats responsibly. Unfortunately, it is also important to remember that other boat operators may not be as observant of the rules as you are. Keep alert to the behaviors of those around you – defensive driving in a boat is just as important as in a car.

At Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers, we want everybody to enjoy summer’s recreational activities safely. If you or someone you love is injured as a result of another boater’s negligence or failure to act responsibly, you may have a personal injury case and we can help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us to set up a free consultation on your legal rights.