Stay Safe On The Water This Summer

With more than 6,000 lakes and ponds, 3,000 miles of coastline, and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, few states can match the magnitude of water that Maine has to offer. Which is why boating adds approximately $150 million to the state’s economy each year. 

But with the scenic waterways comes a substantial number of boating accidents. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there are approximately 5,000 recreational boating accidents in the United States annually, resulting in more than 750 fatalities and 3,500 injuries. Of the 750 deaths, on average over 500 include victims who drowned without wearing a life jacket. 

At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein, we see victims of boating accidents on a regular basis. That’s why we want to help educate boaters on how to be safe when on the open water. Because when it comes to boating safety, a little education can be the difference between life and death. 

• All motorized boats must carry a current registration sticker from the state.

• The age restriction for operating a personal watercraft, including a jet-ski is 16. Boaters between the ages of 16-18 must either be accompanied by an adult or have completed an approved education course and carry proof of completion.

• Every boat should have one life jacket per passenger on board.

• Carry an emergency kit and cell phone, and be sure to tell someone where you are headed and when you expect to return.

• Slow down when near other boats, swimmers, and those enjoying the water. Your consideration will allow others to have fun and remain safe.

• Most boating accidents are alcohol-related. Like driving a car, it is illegal to operate a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content level over .08.

• Educate yourself on basic water safety and boating rules. The U.S. Coast Guard strongly recommends that all boat owners take an official boater education course.

By following a few simple safety tips, boaters can enjoy their time on Maine’s waterways while ensuring safety for themselves and others.

Because at the end of the day, knowing you had a safe and relaxing day out on the water is fun in itself, especially if you don’t rock the boat. 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating, swimming, or watersport activity, call the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein today for a free and confidential consultation. 

For more information on boating safety tips please visit: www.uscgboating.org 

Maine Boating Safety Tips Help Summer Be Safe

With more than 6,000 lakes and ponds, 3,000 miles of coastline, and 32,000 miles of rivers and streams, few states can match the magnitude of water that Maine has to offer. And now that summer is in full swing, there’s no better time to enjoy our many great bodies of water.

Each year, boating adds approximately $153 million to the state’s economy. But with the additional revenue comes more watercrafts on Maine’s waterways. And with the increase in boats comes an increased amount of boating accidents.

In 2008, there were nearly 5,000 recreational boating accidents in the United States. According to the United States Coast Guard, the accidents resulted in more than 700 deaths, 3,000 injuries, and $54 million in property damage. Of the 700 deaths, over 500 were from victims who drowned without wearing a life jacket.

At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein we see victims of summer boating accidents each year, which is why we want to help educate boaters on how to be safe on the open seas. Because when it comes to boating safety, a little education can be the difference between life and death.

The following are a few boating safety tips that all Mainers should know before they shove off from land:

  • All Maine boats must carry a current registration sticker from the state. 
  • Every boat should have one life jacket for each passenger on board.
  • Carry an emergency kit and cell phone, and be sure to tell someone where you are headed and when you expect to return.
  • Test your boat’s lights before leaving dock.
  • Make sure to have an anchor and know how to properly use it.
  • Slow down when near other boats, swimmers, and those enjoying the water. Your consideration will allow others to have fun.
  • Keep drinking to a minimum as most boat accidents are alcohol-related. Like driving a car, it is illegal to operate a boat with a Blood Alcohol Content level over .08.
  • Educate yourself on basic water safety and boating rules. The U.S. Coast Guard strongly recommends that every boat owner take an official boater education course.

If boaters can follow these simple safety tips, both their safety and that of others enjoying their time on Maine's waterways will be greatly improved. And at the end of the day, knowing that you had a safe and relaxing day out on the water is fun in itself, especially if you don’t rock the boat.

For more information on boating safety tips please visit: www.uscgboating.org.
 

Be Safe In Your Boat This Summer

With warm weather on the horizon, Mainers are getting their boats ready for the upcoming boating season. Be it on the lake or in the open ocean, summer is the season to be on the water. But if floating freely is your idea of fun in the sun, then it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure safety. And that’s exactly what National Safe Boating Week (May 16-22) strives to do.

Every summer in the state of Maine, we see accidents on the water that could have been avoided. From minor injuries to major fatalities, boating can provide more than its share of problems. In 2007, nearly 700 boaters were killed on the water, with another 3,500 injured. An estimated 70 percent of these accidents were on vessels captained by sailors with no formal training. Inattention, carelessness, excessive speed, and intoxication are generally the main causes of boating accidents.

At the Law Offices of Joe Bornstein we see firsthand the results of reckless boating and would like to share some important safety tips to make your next adventure on the water a safe adventure. Learn the rules of the water. Currently in Maine, by law you are not required to take a boating safety class to captain a boat. It is, however, advised and can help in the event of any unforeseen circumstance. 

  • Check for inclement weather and always plan ahead and accordingly. If a storm is approaching it is advised to get out of the water.
  • Use common sense and be alert at all times. Be wary of other boaters and swimmers, and steer clear of larger vessels that have limited turning or stopping ability. 
  • Ensure that someone else on the boat is capable of handling all responsibilities in the event that the skipper becomes injured or incapacitated in any way.
  • Equip the boat with at least one lifejacket per person aboard. Too often drownings occur because the victim was without a lifejacket. 
  • Know how to swim in the event of an emergency. Proper training is important and is taught at local American Red Crosses nationwide.
  • Avoid alcohol as it affects impairs your ability to operate your craft. Alcohol is the leading cause of one in every five boating fatalities, and studies have shown that its effects are intensified by sun and wind. 
  • Place a sticker inside your boat listing the owner’s name, home address, and phone number. Upon finding a boat that has drifted ashore, the U.S. Coast Guard is required to search for the operator. With the proper identification information the Coast Guard can first attempt to contact the operator before beginning the search.
  • Consider a Free Vessel Safety Check. The U.S. Coast Guard offers free boat examinations to verify the presence and condition of certain safety equipment required by State and Federal regulations. They also provide a specialist to examine your boat and give helpful safety tips and recommendations, as well as virtual online safety checks at www.vesselsafetycheck.org.

Without a doubt, being on the water is a favorite pastime for many Mainers in the summer. By taking the time to ensure the safety of your family, friends, and favorite float, your next boat ride will be a pleasant boat ride. And when on the water, it’s truly better to be safe than sorry.

For more information on National Safe Boating Week and other important boating safety tips please visit: www.uscgboating.org.