Arguably one of the best benefits of living in Northeast Ohio is our access to the great Lake Erie. While we may only get a few short months to enjoy the majestic beauty, we do have to be vigilant and take an abundance of safety precautions.. Ohio is ranked #11 for deadly boating accidents across the country! That is a scary statistic given the short boating season in Ohio.
The National Safe Boating Council has reported some terrifying statistics;
67% of drowning victims are considered to have been good swimmers.
Over 80% of drowning victims were not wearing proper life jackets
80% of boating accident deaths are due to drowning
In Ohio, most boaters over the age of 16 are required to have a Boater’s Education Card that shows adequate safety and educational courses have been completed. Ironically, boaters born before 1982 are able to operate a boat without any formal boating education or licensing! This contributes to the serious safety risks for those on our Ohio waters.
The Top Safety Threats to Boaters in Ohio
Rip Currents and Inclement Weather – While our Lake Erie may be gorgeous, it can also quickly turn that dream day into a nightmare! Fast moving storms and dangerous currents can be no match for even a seasoned swimmer or boater. Always have proper safety gear on board, and on your person while in the water or riding in a boat.
Driving under the influence
Just as on our roadways, impaired driving is a serious problem on our waterways. On the water, officials can stop a boat and inspect it at any time if they suspect any suspicious or illegal behavior. A routine safety check that uncovers impaired drivers can receive a BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) and be required to pay fines, serve jail time and more.
Even though safety courses are required for many, inexperienced boaters can wreak havoc for their own safety and others. Do not operate a boat until you have completed adequate training with a professional or another experienced boater!
Lack of safety gear
The law mandates that boats must have adequate safety gear for all on board. If you are driving a boat or riding as a passenger, always wear your life jacket!
Other dangers in Ohio
Some lesser common dangers do exist on Lake Erie. From the tragic electrified marina water that claimed the life of a 19 year old, to the dangers posed by other boaters and hidden underwater objects can turn a situation deadly, fast. If you are planning to hit the open waters this year – play it safe and follow the rules to avoid any preventable tragedy.
If you or a loved one was injured while boating in Ohio, call NRS Injury Law. Nager, Romaine and Schneiberg has the experience and resources necessary to fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today. Big insurance companies will be quick to settle, and your best interests are not taken to heart. Get a free case evaluation now!