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How to Avoid Dangerous Boaters on the Water


All boat operators have an obligation to operate their vessels safely but still, some people are safer than others. Some boaters are downright reckless and these individuals pose the most danger to boaters. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid these dangerous boaters. Below, our Florida boat crash lawyer outlines what these are.

 Avoid Boat Clubs Who Have Inexperienced Operators 

Boat clubs are great for people who have never operated a vessel, or have limited experience, or who do not want to deal with buying, insuring, and storing a vessel. However, boat clubs are magnets for new boaters who have never dealt with what it is like to be on the open water with other vessels going around them or past them. Newer operators often do not understand the USCG Rules of the Road in interacting with other recreational boaters. Furthermore, our experience has been that rental boats and boat club boat operators often lead to injuries within the rented boat or boat club vessel.

Avoid Marinas and Boat Landings at High Traffic Times 

A number of boat accidents happen at or near marinas and boat landing sites. People are sometimes rushing to get back, and they make careless mistakes when they are trying to get on or off the water. Many boat operators also lack the experience and knowledge needed to maintain control of their watercraft and safely navigate through crowded areas. Try to get to the marina or boat landing at times when traffic is lighter to avoid a crash.

Avoid Distractions 

Whether you are docking, navigating the open water, or setting off, it is critical that you avoid distractions. You must pay attention to the task at hand in order to avoid a boating accident. USCG Rules require a boater to maintain a proper lookout and to be aware of their surroundings.

Know the Signs of Reckless Boating 

There are many signs of reckless boating that are very dangerous. Understanding what these signs are can help you keep away from dangerous boaters. The most common signs of reckless boating are as follows:

  • The boat operator is distracted at the helm, such as looking at their phone
  • The boat operator is drinking at the helm
  • The boat operator cannot dock or launch successfully
  • A boat is weaving across the water or going too close to fixed objects or land
  • The boat is overloaded

Slow Down

 Generally speaking, the best thing you can do when approaching a dangerous boater is to slow down. You should always give dangerous boaters a wide berth and if you are unable to do this, you may have to simply wait until there is an opportunity to do so.

Use Your Lights and Horn 

When launching before dawn or returning after dark, it is important to use your boat’s lights. These can include navigational lights, spotlights, and other lights onboard. This will make you more visible to other boaters and help prevent a crash. Also, if you believe that a dangerous boater is nearby, do not hesitate to use your horn in order to get their attention.

Call FWC or the Coast Guard, if Necessary 

If the boater poses a great risk to others on the water, you may have to report them. Use your cell phone to contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission or call the Coast Guard to make your report.

Our Boat Crash Lawyer in Florida Can Help After an Accident 

Following the above tips can help you avoid dangerous boaters, but sometimes a crash is unavoidable for victims. At 888-BOAT-LAW, our Florida boat crash lawyer holds negligent boaters accountable, and we can put that experience to work for you. Call us now or contact us online to request a consultation and to learn more.


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