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How to Stay Safe in a Boat During a Pandemic

With boating season upon us, the U.S. Coast Guard is recommending that all boaters take some extra steps to stay safe on the water.

The number of boaters on Georgia’s lakes is likely to increase over the next few weeks as Georgians begin to enjoy being out after several weeks of shelter-in-place measures.

Boating is a safe activity from the point of view of social distancing, when compared to other types of activities such as visits to amusement parks. Boating offers a great opportunity for smaller groups to be away from other people, thereby ensuring that social distancing is maintained. However, there are still some things you need to keep in mind before you plan boating trips with family or friends this summer.

First off, keep the group size small. A boating group should be limited to very few people from your immediate circle. You should preferably be on a boat with members of your own family, and no guests.

If you do have guests, take extra precautions to stay safe.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that persons maintain a minimum of six feet distance when in a group.  That means enough space for fewer members of a group to remain sufficiently distant from each other on the water craft.

Wash your hands thoroughly, or sanitize them after touching surfaces of the boat.  Make sure that all personal protective gear like life jackets are cleaned, sterilized, dried out and stored safely before they used. Do not allow personal protection devices to be shared among passengers or to be reused without undergoing a through sanitization process from the previous use. The Coast Guard also recommends no overnight stays on water craft this summer.

Boating safety is critical this year, even more than other years. Besides the usual threats from speeding, alcohol use, and bad weather, there is also the risk of a virus that is seriously contagious, and can be deadly.

Make sure you follow all basic safety precautions. Avoid drinking while operating the boat. Remember, your safety as well as the safety of all passengers on your boat is in your hands. A collision between two or more boats could result in serious injuries to both you and your fellow boaters.

Stay at safe speeds. With so many Atlanta residents out there to enjoy their new-found freedom on Georgia’s lakes, there is likely going to be more boating traffic than you expect.

Make sure you check all weather reports for your area, before you venture out on the water.  Boating accidents are more common during inclement weather.  Lastly, it’s a good idea to give a friend on land a copy of your route plan in case of an emergency.

The Atlanta boating accident lawyers at the Katz Law Firm represent persons injured in boating accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If your loved one has been injured in a boating accident, call an attorney at our firm and discuss your chances for compensation for your losses. You may qualify for damages that include medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other damages.

 

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