Maine Boating Safety Tips
Maine Boat Accident Statistics
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a reportable accident is one in which someone was killed or injured or one which resulted in extensive property damage. In Maine in 2014, the most recent year for which the Coast Guard has statistics, there were 35 reportable accidents. Visit our previous blog post – Maine boating accident statistics – for more.
Maine has 3,478 miles of coastline, which is more coastline than the state of California, plus 5,785 lakes! It’s a desirable spot for boating, both for locals and tourists. Unfortunately, where there are boaters, there are boating accidents, personal injuries, and death. In an attempt to educate the public on safe boating practices, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has published safety tips for boaters.
10 Basic Safety Tips for Boating in Maine
- Always tell someone who is staying on shore where you are going and what time you expect to return. If you do not return on time, someone will know and can report to the Coast Guard that you may be in trouble.
- Have enough life jackets on the boat for each person on board. Although it is not legally mandatory, the Coast Guard recommends that all boat riders wear a life jacket while the boat is on the water.
- Pay attention to the weather reports. Weather can change quickly and you need to avoid getting caught in a storm.
- Do not overload the boat with people and equipment.
- Always appoint one boat rider to act as a look-out for dangerous conditions.
- Know the “Rules of the Road” for boaters and which boater has the right-of-way when meeting on the water. The rules are different depending on whether two motor boats meet, two sailing vessels meet or one sailing vessel and one motor boat meet.
- Drive only at a speed that is safe considering the number of other boats in the water, the weather, hazardous conditions and visibility.
- Learn the meaning of symbols such as beacons and buoys.
- Take care of yourself and other boaters. Be sure to wear sunscreen and to drink plenty of water.
- Educate yourself about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning when boating and the symptoms to watch for.
No matter how careful you are, whether as the driver of a boat or a passenger, accidents can happen. If you were injured in a boating accident, contact the office of Fales & Fales, P.A., for a free case evaluation with an accident attorney.