Sea-Doo RXP rider

Photo by Roqqy

Summer will soon be here and, for many, that means undertaking the annual ritual of getting their boats ready for the boating season. It is important that we give as much thought and attention to safety precautions for ourselves and our passengers as we do in the maintenance on our vessels to keep them in top condition.

Over 500 people drown every year in recreational boating accidents, a shocking statistic. Reduce your family’s risk with a simple strategy: “Wear It.” Wear a life jacket at all times when operating on the water. National Safe Boating Week, May 17 through May 23, is the kickoff to the 2014 North American Safe Boating Campaign. Safe boating advocates offer a number of safety tips to remember:

  1. Wear life jackets any time you are out on the water. Over 70% of fatal boating accident victims died of drowning. Almost 85% were not wearing a life jacket! REMEMBER: Your life jackets need to be removed from packaging in order to be immediately accessible.
  2. Be sure each of your life jackets are U.S. Coast Guard-approved and in good condition. They should have no rips or tears. Replace worn out jackets to be sure they provide the buoyancy necessary to keep you afloat and alive.
  3. When children are boating with you, make sure they are wearing properly sized and fitted life jackets. Children must not be able to slide out of their jackets.
  4. Never operate a vessel while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.
  5. Be aware of your surroundings and boat responsibly. Operator inattention or inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure, and excessive speed rank as the top five primary contributing factors in boating accidents.

If you or a loved one has been injured after being involved in a boating accident, contact the The Pottenger Law Firm by calling 816-531-6006, or visit us at