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5 Tips for Safe and Fun Boating This Summer

As summer is winding down, you may be hoping to get one more boating trip to one of Michigan’s many lakes. Don’t let a careless decision ruin your fun. Here are some great tips to help make your trip fun and safe:

1. Know Your Lake

Many recreational lakes have posted “no wake” periods, directions of travel, and limited access points. Make sure you know the rules for any body of water you’re traveling on.

2. Have the Right Safety Equipment

Before setting out, make sure your boat is equipped with flotation devices, a fire extinguisher, lights, and a horn or whistle. Remember children under 6 and anyone on a PWC have to wear their flotation device at all times.

3. Don’t Drink and Sail

Did you know that Michigan’s drunk driving laws apply to boating too? If you sail while you have over a 0.10 blood alcohol content (or 0.07 with other evidence of drinking), your trip could end in a local jail. Leave the liquor on the shore and make sure you’re sober before setting out.

4. Leave Enough Distance

Make sure to leave at least 100 feet between your boat and the shore, docks or rafts, moored vessels, or swimmers. If you’re on a personal water craft, like a jet ski, make that 150 feet. You need enough time to get clear if something unexpected happens.

5. Report Any Accidents ASAP

If you are involved in a boating accident, make sure to inform the proper authorities (police or coast guard) as soon as possible, especially if someone was injured or went missing. Michigan law requires you to file your report within 48 hours if someone died or 5 days if there was substantial damage to one of the vehicles.

A boating accident is the worst way to end a Michigan vacation. But you can help avoid collisions by following these safety tips and by taking the state’s boater safety course. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a boating accident, contact Attorney David Christensen at Christensen Law. He has been representing boaters for years and can help you recover money for your injuries and property damage.