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Boating Safety Tips


It’s that time of year again when we head to the lakes, rivers, and beaches to soak up some sun, relax and enjoy time with family. After long winters we are excited to get back out on the water but there are some things to remember before heading out if boating is part of your plan this summer.

There are many popular boating lakes and rivers throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin. In fact, according to the U.S. Coast Guard 2017 statistics, Wisconsin ranks number 4 in deaths and boating accidents.

With this in mind, here are safety tips from the Wisconsin DNR to remember this summer:

  • Leave alcohol onshore. Alcohol’s effects are greatly exaggerated by exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise, and vibration.
  • Use and maintain the right safety equipment.
  • Wear a life jacket!
  • Be weather-wise.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Open all hatches and run the blower after you refuel and before getting underway. Sniff for fumes before starting the engine and if you smell fumes, do not start the engine.
  • Check the boat landing for any local regulations that apply. If boating on the Great Lakes or Mississippi River, review the federal regulations for additional requirements.
  • Abide by the boat capacity plate located near the boat operator’s position. Overloading a boat with gear or passengers will make the boat unstable and increase the risk of capsizing or swamping.
  • Follow navigation, boat traffic, and other rules on the water.
  • Never allow passengers to ride on gunwales or seatbacks or outside of protective railings, including the front of a pontoon boat. A sudden turn, stop or start could cause a fall overboard.

Bye, Goff & Rohde encourages everyone to have a fun and safe summer.  If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a reckless boat operator, call the experienced boating accident attorneys at Bye, Goff & Rohde at (715) 202-5699 for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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