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Ways to prevent boating accidents

Boating can be a very enjoyable pastime. However, boating accidents do occur. Minnesota residents who enjoy boating may benefit from learning about the common reasons for boating accidents and what steps they can take to avoid accidents while out on the water.

Running out of gas while boating is not an unusual occurrence and can be a result of a miscalculation of the return bearing or trying to outrun inclement weather. However, running out of gas while in the middle of a large body of water can result in a very dangerous situation. This could be avoided by first planning beforehand and carefully calculating how many gallons of gas are needed to go into the water and return and then by adding an additional 10 to 20 percent of gas to be safe.

Running aground is another cause of boating accidents, and in some cases, it is the resulting sudden stop that contributes to injuries. Before attempting to move the boat back onto the water, boaters should examine the bilge and verify that water is not seeping through a hole or crack in the hull.

People who fall overboard can strike their head on the way down and end up unconscious in the water, which can be deadly if they are not wearing a life jacket. For people who are manning a boat alone and fall overboard, the boat is likely to continue to run until there is no more gas; wearing an emergency cut-off switch lanyard can allow them to turn off the boat and prevent it from running them down.

People who sustain injuries due to boating accidents caused by the negligence of someone else may learn about their legal options from a personal injury attorney. The attorney may be able to pursue financial damages against the negligent parties for accidents caused by intoxicated boating.

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