The holidays are here once again. In other parts of the country, winter parades wind up and down Main Street with Santa Claus waving to everyone, perhaps with a light snow falling. Florida might not have a lot – or any – snow, but we do have lots of water. Down here, a holiday parade means a boat parade—on a lake, canal, or waterway. Think night time, lights twinkling, and festive music pumping across the water.
However, just because it is a parade does not mean you should not practice good boating safety. In fact, you should be extra vigilant since many people might be in an extra “festive” mood. Whether you are participating in a boat parade or there on your boat to watch the show, keep these safety tips in mind when you are out on the water.
Boating safety tips for a happy holiday
Keep this advice in mind for safe participation in parades and safe boating overall.
- Just like with any vehicle, if there will be any alcohol, assign a “designated skipper” to abstain from drinking and be responsible for driving the boat.
- Ensure any boat decorations do not impede your vision or safety. Keep lights above deck level to prevent water damage and keep them out of the way while docking.
- Keep aware of any power cords for holiday lights and hazardous water spots—wrap any connectors or frayed wires with electrical tape.
- Use only outdoor-rated holiday lights and marine-grade extension cords on a separate breaker.
- Do not put decorations on your boat that would compromise the stability of your vessel. Keep in mind sudden gusts of wind.
- Remember you will be driving in the dark. Plan out your route in advance, use your GPS, and be on extra alert.
- On a related note, navigating at night can be dangerous, so ensure you and your passengers are wearing lifejackets.
- Always listen to any U.S. Coast Guard or official orders for your own and others’ safety.
- Get to the parade early and hang around a little later to avoid the rush.
Of course, the most important thing is to have a great time and not end up on anyone’s naughty list!
Boat accidents most commonly happen due to driver error. They might not understand how to operate their vessel or watercraft correctly, or are driving recklessly or under the influence. If you or someone you love is injured in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligence, you deserve compensation. Boating and maritime law is complex due to the different state and federal laws, and it is important to have an advocate on your side.
Any person or entity that has caused you injuries and suffering must be held accountable. At Yeboah Law Group, our attorneys know to how to prove negligence and we will fight for you in court. Let our experienced legal team help. Contact our attorneys in Fort Lauderdale at 1-800-TELL-SAM, or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients throughout South Florida.