The temperatures are rising and the days are getting longer. Summer has finally started to arrive here in the northern Illinois area! This season is a great time to get outside and enjoy time with loved ones. For many of us, summer temperatures give us more time to be out on the water. Before you log any more time on your boat this year, be sure you are brushing up on good practices that will keep you, and everyone on the water with you, safe.

Skip the Alcohol

Just like driving a car, choosing to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol is an unsafe and irresponsible decision. The Coast Guard reports that alcohol is responsible for at least 16% boating fatalities and for half of all boating accidents. Boating Under the Influence (BUI) is a serious offense and applies to all vessels, including kayaks or canoes.

Why the big deal about drinking and boating when many people seem to think the two go hand in hand? Alcohol affects judgment, response time, and other abilities that are crucial to safely operating a boat. Skip the cocktail and choose to boat safely.

Brush Up on Rules of the Water

When you hit the river or lake, you aren’t the only one. Boaters share the water with swimmers, kayakers, and other vessels. It is important to brush up on general rules of the water to be sure you are not inadvertently putting yourself, or others, in danger. We like the BoatUS Foundation’s resources and encourage you to take a look as well.

Beware of Towing

Part of the fun of having a boat is the opportunity to tow a water skier or tuber. However, towing can be extremely dangerous if your driver is not experienced, or if your driver participates in risky behaviors. At MacCloskey, Kesler & Associates, we have taken on tragic cases that involved unsafe towing and unfortunately know the very real consequences of towing more than one tube at a time.

Spending time on your boat, or on friend’s boat, is a hallmark summer experience. However, choose to enjoy the time together safely, and without alcohol.

If you do become involved with a boating accident that results in injury, don’t delay in contacting our team. We have years of experience working with victims of boating accidents and are ready to help you during this difficult time.

Stay safe out there.