Written by Greg on July 2, 2014
A recent collision between two boats on Lake Conroe north of Houston, Texas resulted in one fatality, one person missing and several with serious injuries. A bass boat and a pleasure boat crashed about 9 Tuesday night. Read about the terrible crash here.
Let us hope and pray that the injured victims recover quickly and the woman who is missing is found alive and healthy. Having lost my father in a boating accident, my heart goes out to the families.
This tragic accident reminds everyone of the importance of boating safety.
The Coast Guard indicates that operator error accounts for 70% of all boating accidents and suggest a safety course for those who are both experienced and novice boaters.
The Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife suggest some key points to boating safety:
* Wear a life jacket. The majority of people who are in a boating accident would have lived if they were wearing a life jacket.
* Use a kill switch- which stops the motor should you fall overboard.
* Take a boater education course such as those offered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife.
Additionally, Texas boaters can take free boating safety course at home through BoatUS.org.
These courses are not that time consuming and provide excellent training in boating safety.
Like operating a car, the operator of a boat is responsible for the safety of its operation. Many lakes have aids to navigation such as buoys and begin to help the boater navigate safely.
Whenever you come upon another boat, it is like entering an intersection without signals or signs. There are a few basic right-of-way rules that will help you avoid a collision that you should know prior to operating the boat.
While former rules depend upon the body of water, generally if you are crossing house with another vehicle that is on the right, you must let the vehicle pass in front of you. It should have the right-of-way.
Evasive maneuver should always be taken if you suspect you are on a collision course with another boat.
Adequate lookout is critically important for boating safety both for other boats and also for swimmers, skiers and smaller personal watercraft such as jet skis.
If you’re heading directly head onto another boat, both vehicles should steer to the right to avoid collision.
Regardless of who has the right-of-way, if it appears coalition is eminent do not rely on your right-of-way but take evasive action to avoid a collision.
Always remember not to drink and operate a boat and please signup for a boating safety course!