Washington Boat Accident Lawyer: Safety Items That Should Be Aboard Every Boat
We write a lot about what you can do to prevent Washington boating accidents – and what you need to know to stay safe while boating. However, you can buy many pieces of equipment and safety tools for your boat that will both help prevent accidents and help you in the event of a boating accident and injury. Many, though not all, of these items are required by the Coast Guard and by law for all boats over 16 feet long.
Personal flotation devices. This should be the obvious item! Under federal law, you are required to have a working, well fitting, and easily accessible life vest for every person on your boat. Very simply, these PFDs save lives.
Fire extinguisher. All boats over 16 feet long must carry a fire extinguisher. Although you might not think of fire as a danger when you are surrounded by water, motor and engine fires do happen, and when they do, they can cause serious injury. In fact, fire is the second leading cause of fatal boat accidents next to drowning.
Visual distress signal. Especially if you are boating at night, it is vital that you carry a signal that can be seen by rescuers, such as flares, distress flags, or orange smoke. These signals are important when on larger bodies of water, even if you don’t plan on being out after sunset. Always check the expiration date on your distress signals.
Sound-producing device. Small boats require an air horn or a whistle – as long as they produce a sound that can be heard a half-mile away. Larger boats also need a bell. Being able to produce a loud sound can help you avoid collisions and let others know when you are in distress.
Navigation lights. Larger boats operating between sunset and sunrise should be equipped with lights. Again, these lights aid in both navigation and in the event of an accident or injury. Powerboats operating at night require a starboard light, port light, masthead light, stern light, and anchor light.
First aid kit. While not required by law, it is a good idea to carry a first aid kit on your boat. A good first aid kit for a boat has a wound kit, a sprain kit, painkillers, anti-nausea medication, and other basics.
At the Andrew Kim Law Firm, we see the serious consequences of boating accidents and injuries. Many boating accidents can be prevented – and many other boating accidents could be found and responded to more quickly. If you have been injured in such an accident, call our Seattle boat accident attorney today: 800-636-3676.