If you plan on boating on Puget Sound this summer, read these important safety tips that can help prevent Washington boating accidents and injuries.

Puget Sound Boating Safety: Preventing Accidents & Injuries

It is springtime in Washington State again, which means that hundreds of boaters and water recreationalists are returning to Puget Sound to spend time with loved ones and enjoy nature. However, as more people populate the Sound, boating accidents and injuries are once again on the rise.

On May 7, two people died when their 18-foot boat’s propeller became tangled in a shrimp pot line in bad weather and capsized. A 68-year-old woman and a 13-year-old boy died – and authorities reported that most of the boat’s life jackets were stored at the time of the accident. Just last week on May 14, two men in a 12-foot boat on Puget Sound were thrown into the frigid water after their boat capsized in choppy water. One man survived and was treated for hypothermia, while another is missing and presumed drowned.

How can you and your family stay safe on Puget Sound and other Washington waters this summer?

  • Realize that the water is almost always dangerously cold. Far too many people assume that hypothermia isn’t a risk during warm summer months, but the waters of Puget Sound rarely hit 60 degrees. Never assume that you won’t end up in the water somehow, and never assume that the temperature of the water could be life threatening. 
  • Put your life jackets on – now! We absolutely cannot stress how important it is to wear a life jacket, regardless of your age or your boating experience. Having life jackets stored away on your boat is not good enough and often won’t help you during an emergency. 
  • Supervise children closely. It can only take a moment for a child to go under. Adults should take turns watching children playing in or near water – and the supervisor should not be distracted by other activities during this time. 
  • Keep an eye on the weather. At least one of the two fatal boating accidents so far this year has involved poor weather. Be sure to check forecasts before leaving for the water, and get back to land when waters become rough or bad weather threatens.

Boating can be an enjoyable, rewarding, and memorable activity. But like many recreational activities on Puget Sound, it comes with hazards and dangers. If you or a loved one has been harmed in a Seattle boating accident, you may need the assistance of an experienced, knowledgeable personal injury attorney. Call Andrew Kim today.