In the summer I see a lot of boating accidents. Obviously you’re going to stay away or be super cautious around the hind end of a boat. And just for the record… Don’t drink and drive on land or water. It’s so dangerous, and drunken boat drivers usually take many people’s lives into their incapable hands. There are no seat belts. Don’t let drunk drivers man the boat you’re in.
But here are some other accidents, which often cause great disability and generally are preventable.
Wear appropriate shoes for the activities you do. And stay away from flip flops. Just today, I reminded a friend of mine to stop wearing those dangerous things that pass for footwear. On a boat or a dock, while seeming to be the obvious, easy and stylish option, they are even more dangerous. They tend to go a different way than your foot. They either form a suction to the surface of a dock or boat, or they slip out from under your greasy (sun screened up) foot. Then you trip or your leg goes out from under you. Wear some kind of water proof sandal with a strap behind the heel.
Be cautious climbing in and out of boats, especially in the situation where a boat has the potential to move (waves or loose tie down). You have to have one foot on the dock and one foot in the boat. Many injuries result, some quite serious. Hold on to someone or something… tight, until you have your footing. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for a hand!
Be safe. Have fun the rest of your summer!
Dr Barbara Bergen dishes out practical suggestions on often overlooked subjects.
A woman I knew of was seriously maimed climbing onto a houseboat when the driver started the motor not seeing her. But for a paramedic as part of the group she would have died. I’m terrified of such boating accidents as a result. Great article!
A friend who’s been boating on Lake Travis for 30 years just injured her back falling flat in the boat when they crossed a wake. (Her husband was looking at a boat with the surf wake in another direction.) So many unexpected ways to be injured!