The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office saved five men who were stranded in the Gulf of Mexico after their boat capsized Saturday.
None of the men suffered any injuries.
According to reports, the group of men were about 15 miles off the shore when they called for help.
The U.S. Coast Guard also helped with the rescue.
The good news is that all the men were wearing their life jackets, which is a great reminder to everyone how important it is to be safe when on the water.
According to the Coast Guard’s 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics, there were a total of 4,168 boat crashes that resulted in 613 deaths. In this same year, another 2,559 injuries were reported as well as a whopping $55 million in property damage all due to recreational boating accidents. The Coast Guard also found that 79% of recreational boating deaths involved victims who drowned. Furthermore, 86% of fatal drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket.
Nothing beats a hot sunny day on the water, and Pasco County is a great area for year-long boating activities. However, just one tiny slip up and a fun-filled day can turn into a nightmare in a matter of seconds. Anytime you head out on the water you want to be as prepared as possible. Our Pasco County Boating Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton want to remind you of the following safety tips.
Boat safety starts before you even get on the water. You want to make sure your vessel is in good working condition before taking it out. This means you need to regularly inspect your boat for properly working steering, throttle, fuel and battery lines, and all switches and cables. If you have not taken your boat out in a while, you want to properly inspect it and be thorough before you get it on the water.
Life jackets are a must for every single passenger. Every person on your watercraft needs to wear a life jacket. This is a non negotiable, as having one on can save your life, as this article shows. You want the life jackets to be kept in places that are easily accessible. You also need to inspect them often to make sure they are not ripped, torn, or otherwise defective. You also want to be aware of the laws regarding life jackets in Florida. For children under the age of 6: They must wear a USCG-approved life jacket while on boats that are under 26 feet in length on Florida waterways. Everyone on board a personal watercraft or being towed by a PWC must also wear a USCG-approved life jacket at all times.
Pay attention to the weather and prepare yourself accordingly. A severe thunderstorm can quickly turn a nice day into a dangerous one. If severe warning is on the radar, consider taking your boat out another day. Once dark clouds are hanging over your vessel, it is usually too late to get back to shore safely.
Do not drink and operate a boat. Just like driving a car, drinking while boating is dangerous and can prevent you from being able to operate a vessel safely. Likewise, drinking large amounts of alcohol can hinder your balance, and that combined with a rocky boat can easily lead to passengers falling overboard.
Keep an eye on your boat’s weight. An overloaded boat can lead to a capsized boat. Your boat weight needs to be evenly distributed. You want to secure your anchor to the front of the boat (the bow). When the boat is moving at fast speeds, remind passengers to stay seated so that they can avoid falling overboard.
Follow appropriate traffic guidelines. Be advised that larger boats like fishing boats, sailboats, etc. have the right away. It is best to stay to the right when approaching another vessel. You always want to yield to the boat that is on the right.
By following basic safety tips you can keep yourself and your passengers from being involved in a serious boating mishap. Being safe and cautious is great, but accidents can happen even if you are a safe boater. If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in a boating accident in the Pasco County area, our Pasco County Boating Accident Lawyers at Whittel & Melton are here to help you understand maritime laws and how you can recover financial compensation for your pain and suffering.