5 Safety Tips from Experienced Nevada Boating Accident Attorneys to Stay Safe on the Water

Picture a perfect day out on the waters of Nevada: you, your family, and friends are soaking up the sunshine, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Boating in such an idyllic setting is a wonderful experience, but it's important to remember that safety should always come first.

While boating is generally a safe activity, unforeseen circumstances can arise. For instance, challenges like sudden changes in weather, navigating busy waterways, or encountering inexperienced boaters can pose risks. It's in these moments that knowledge and preparedness become invaluable. Recent incidents, such as a tragic boating accident on Lake Mead that took the lives of two Las Vegas Valley residents, remind us of the importance of being vigilant and prepared.

Fortunately, most boating accidents are preventable. By following five simple but crucial safety tips from experienced Nevada boating accident attorneys, you can significantly reduce risks for yourself, your passengers, and others enjoying the water. These guidelines are not just about compliance; they're about ensuring every boating adventure is both safe and enjoyable.

If you've been involved in a boating accident, it's important to know your rights and options. The team at Eric Blank Injury Attorneys is committed to offering guidance and support. Call (702) 222-2115 today for a FREE consultation and learn why so many trust us and experience why it’s always BETTER with BLANK on your side.

1. Wear a Life Jacket

This is the most important safety tip of all. Life jackets are required by law in Nevada for all boaters under the age of 12, and all passengers must wear their life jackets while the boat is moving or drifting.

Even if you're a strong swimmer, it's important to wear a life jacket in case you fall overboard or become incapacitated. Life jackets can help you stay afloat and give you time to be rescued. Wearing a life jacket helps you stay safe on the water in a number of ways:

  • It keeps you afloat. If you fall overboard, a life jacket will help you stay afloat, even if you are unconscious or injured. 
  • It helps you breathe. A life jacket will position your head above water, so you can breathe easily. 
  • It reduces fatigue. A life jacket will support your body in the water, so you don't have to use as much energy to stay afloat. This can be especially critical if you are in the water for an extended period of time. 
  • It makes you more visible. Life jackets are typically brightly colored and have reflective material, which makes you easier to see in the water. This is important for rescuers to be able to find you quickly.

In addition to helping you avoid accidents, wearing a life jacket can also increase your chances of survival if you are involved in a boating accident. Studies have shown that people who wear life jackets are much less likely to drown than those who do not.

2. Take a Boating Safety Course

A boating safety course can teach you the basics of boat operation and safety procedures and can help you avoid a boating accident in a number of ways:

  • Teaches the basics of boat operation. Boating safety courses teach participants about the different types of boats, how to operate them safely, and the rules of the water. This knowledge can help prevent accidents caused by operator error, such as running aground, colliding with another boat, or falling overboard. 
  • Covers common hazards and safety procedures. Boating safety courses also teach participants about the common hazards they may encounter on the water, such as other boats, swimmers, debris, and weather conditions. Participants learn how to identify these hazards and how to respond safely. 
  • Provides hands-on training. Many boating safety courses include hands-on training, where participants can practice operating a boat in a safe and controlled environment. This training can help participants develop the skills and confidence they need to operate a boat safely in real-world conditions.

In addition, boating safety courses can also help you prepare for an emergency if one does occur. You’ll learn about basic first aid, how to use a VHF radio, and how to signal for help.

By taking a boating safety course, you can gain the knowledge and skills you need to have a safe and enjoyable experience on the water. These courses are offered by a variety of organizations, including the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Being aware of your surroundings is one of the most important things you can do to avoid boating accidents. This means paying attention to other boats, swimmers, debris, and weather conditions.

Here are some specific tips for being aware of your surroundings on the water:

  • Keep an eye out for other boats. Be especially careful when approaching or passing other boats. Obey the rules of navigation and give other boats the right of way when required. 
  • Be aware of swimmers. Swimmers can be difficult to see, especially in rough water or low-light conditions. Slow down and be extra cautious when operating your boat in areas where swimmers are present. 
  • Be aware of debris. Debris such as logs, rocks, and fishing gear can pose a hazard to boats. Keep an eye out for debris and take evasive action if necessary. 
  • Be aware of weather conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly on the water. Monitor the weather forecast and be prepared to change your plans if necessary.

4. Don't Boat Under the Influence

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol continued to be the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2022, accounting for 88 deaths, or 16 percent of total fatalities.

Like many other states, Nevada has Boating Under the Influence (BUI) laws, making it illegal to operate a boat in Nevada with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This is the same as the legal limit for driving under the influence (DUI).

Alcohol impairs your judgment, coordination, and reaction time, making it difficult to operate a boat safely. 

5. Have the Proper Safety Equipment on Board

Nevada law requires all boats to be equipped with certain safety equipment. This equipment includes:

  • Life jackets: All boats must have at least one Type I, II, or III life jacket for each person on board approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Children under the age of 12 must wear a life jacket at all times while the boat is underway. 
  • Fire extinguisher: All boats must have at least one fire extinguisher that is properly serviced and in good working order. 
  • Sound-producing device: All boats must have a sound-producing device, such as a whistle or horn, that can be heard for at least one-half mile in calm weather. 
  • Anchor and line: All boats must have an anchor and line that is appropriate for the size and weight of the boat. 
  • Bilge pump: All boats must have a bilge pump that is capable of removing water from the boat at a rate of at least 100 gallons per hour.

In addition to the above, Nevada law also requires boats to have certain safety equipment depending on their type and size. For example, all boats over 16 feet in length must have a throwable flotation device, such as a ring buoy or seat cushion. 

You can find more information about Nevada boating safety laws on the Nevada Department of Wildlife website at the following link: https://www.ndow.org/get-outside/#

No one starts their day expecting to be involved in a boating accident, but it's always wise to be prepared and keep in mind these essential safety tips. Despite our best efforts, accidents can still happen. If you find yourself in such an unfortunate situation, it's important to know that you don't have to navigate the aftermath alone. Contacting an experienced boat accident lawyer can be a crucial step in ensuring your rights are protected.

Get the Help You Need After a Boating Accident

If you've been injured in a boating accident, you need the help of an experienced boating injury lawyer to protect your legal rights and get the compensation you're entitled to. The attorneys at Eric Blank Injury Attorneys have a proven track record of success in helping boating accident victims get the compensation they need to cover their medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages.

We understand that dealing with the aftermath of a boating accident can be overwhelming. That's why we offer a FREE consultation to discuss your case and answer any questions you may have. We're here to help you every step of the way, and we won't stop fighting for you until you get the compensation for your injuries caused by another person’s negligence.

Call us at (702) 222-2115 or fill out our online form, and you'll be connected with an experienced personal injury lawyer who's ready to help.

Our friendly team speaks both English and Spanish, ensuring everyone feels heard and understood. And remember, we're on your side: you don't pay us a dime unless we win for you. See for yourself why so many say it’s always BETTER with BLANK!

Copyright © 2023. Eric Blank Injury Attorneys. All rights reserved.

The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Eric Blank Injury Attorneys
7860 W Sahara Ave Ste. 110
Las Vegas, NV 89117
(702) 222-2115

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