Boating is one of the most popular outdoor activities during the summer. Even with water levels in Lake Mead declining, launch ramps remain open for boaters to enjoy. If you plan to take a boat out to the lake this summer, be sure to follow these boating safety tips. Boating accidents, especially collisions, groundings, and falls overboard are leading causes of injury around this time of year, so it is important to take precautions so that you enjoy your time boating.

Take a Boating Course

Before taking a boat out on the lake this summer, it is a good idea to take a boating safety course. Many boating safety courses are offered online and are generally free to access. Boating safety courses will cover important topics such as navigation rules, alcohol, carbon monoxide, fires, crew overboard, and flare and distress signals.

Always Wear Life Jackets

It does not matter how strong of a swimmer you are, wearing a life jacket can save your life on the lake. According to o NRS §488.193, all vessels must be equipped with USCG-approved wearable life jacket for each person on board. Life jackets are the single most important piece of safety equipment that you can use while boating. It is important that each person wear their life jacket as well. According to the Nevada Department of Wildlife, 85% of fatal canoeing accidents involved people who were not wearing a floatation device.

Check the Weather Before Hitting the Lake

Check the weather report before going out on the lake. Even on days when it seems that the weather will be ideal for a day on the lake, the weather can change quickly and create dangerous conditions for boating. It is especially important to check weather and lake levels to be aware of water levels and launch ramp closures. You can view the Lake Mead weather and water levels page here. 

Don’t Drink Alcohol and Operate a Boat

We understand that a hot day on the lake pairs nicely with an ice-cold beverage, but operating a boat is just like operating any other piece of heavy machinery—you should never do it while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Nevada DUI laws (or rather Boating Under the Influence) apply to boats as well as it is illegal to operate a watercraft with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher.

Know the Nautical Rules of the Road

In addition to the boating safety tips above, it is important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the “road” while boating. These navigation rules will help keep you safe around other boaters by ensuring that you pass on the correct side of vessels, give the right of way, and flying the proper flags to alert other boaters when you are in the water—swimming, diving, snorkeling, and so on.

Willoughby Shulman Injury Lawyers

If you find yourself injured as the result of a boating accident, call the personal injury law firm of Willoughby Shulman Injury Lawyers. We have recovered millions for our clients while adhering to core values of honesty and hard work we pride ourselves on putting our clients first because we believe that every client matters.