Southern Wisconsin is a beautiful place, full of lakes and streams to explore and enjoy. It only takes one tragedy in the news to be reminded how important water safety is, so here are a few tips:
Attorney Evan’s dog Louie, diligently wearing his life jacket!
As you can see from the photo, Attorney Evan‘s dog Louie wisely chose to wear his life jacket while kayaking on the Marshall Millpond, just east of Sun Prairie. When Louie got a little too excited about another dog on the shore and fell out of the kayak, the life jacket brought him back to the surface, allowing him to be pulled back to safety.
Drowning is the leading cause of death on Wisconsin waterways. More than 90% of boating drownings result from lack of life jackets. It’s also the law! Wisconsin law and U.S. Coast Guard law require life jackets for boating. This includes boating on paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes.
So while it seems like such a simple reminder, life jackets are a life saver! Be like Louie!
While propeller accidents account for only 2% of boating accidents, they account for about 18% of boating fatalities, and propeller injuries have a 15-17% mortality rate.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Don’t let passengers sit where they could fall into the area of the propeller. Passengers don’t belong on the bow, gunwales, or transom. When the engine is in gear, keep passengers away from the swim platform.
- Drive the boat sober, and don’t allow passengers to drink heavily.
- Wear your engine-cutoff-switch lanyard, and know how to use it.
- Keep your boat away from swimming areas and diver-down flags.
When picking up a swimmer or water-skier:
- Get back to skiers immediately, so they don’t get injured by other boats.
- Never put the engine in reverse to back toward a skier, and always turn the engine off before you are alongside the skier.
- Do not put the engine back into gear until you see that everyone who was in the water is back in the boat. Even if the person starts talking to you, do not assume they are back in the boat.
Insurance Coverage for Boating Accidents:
Boat accidents can have catastrophic, life-changing consequences. In many boating accident cases, the accident-related damages can exceed one million dollars.
If you own or operate a boat, talk with a local attorney or a knowledgeable insurance agent about getting adequate liability insurance coverage. Do not assume that your auto insurance coverage or homeowners’ insurance coverage will provide sufficient coverage. For the sake of your passengers and your family’s financial protection, insurance coverage should not be overlooked.
Enjoy Wisconsin’s natural resources safely!