Boating is something many Tennesseans enjoy doing as there is nothing comparable to being out on the open waters.  Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that while there are plenty of people boating, there are also a significant number of accidents occurring that have led to individuals suffering from injuries and others being killed. So far this year, the state has already seen five boating accidents. And over the past 10 years, the Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency (TWRA) has investigated 206 fatal boating accidents.
Among all of the fatal cases investigated, TWRA has found that 170 of the victims were not wearing life jackets or any personal floatation devices [Fox 17]. In 14 of the accidents that were investigated, drowning appeared to be the main cause of death. You see, many of these accidents are unforeseen and when a boat collides with something unexpectedly or overturns, passengers on board don’t have to time to take the necessary safety precautions that can help keep them safe. That is why everyone should be wearing a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) approved life jacket at all times for when these unexpected moments occur.
In fact, the law requires that children who are 12 years of age or younger must wear a USCG personal flotation device “while on the open deck of a recreational boat except when anchored, moored, or aground.” But, based on these accident statistics, it appears children aren’t the only ones that should be wearing one of these devices. So, if you are new to boating or are wanting to ensure that your safety and that of your passengers isn’t compromised in the event an accident occurs, below are a few things you need to know about life jackets.
According to TWRA, there are four things you should be aware of regarding your personal flotation device. These include:
 

  1. You must have one wearable device of the appropriate size on board the boat for each person that will be
    It is essential for everyone on board a boat to be wearing a life jacket in the event an unexpected accident occurs.
    traveling in it. TWRA says this applies to rowboats, sailboats, canoes, rafts, and motorboats. It is important that these devices are available to those who wish to protect themselves.
  2. Each of these safety devices must be readily accessible. You should not have them hidden away or below deck. If they aren’t being worn, they should at least be located close by so that they can be reached quickly.
  3. TWRA says each device must be Coast Guard approved and bear the approval stamp and number.
  4. You will want to check to be sure that each of these flotation devices are in good condition. “The straps must be firmly affixed, there should be no rips, tears or holes which will affect the operating efficiency of the device, and there should be no leaks in the plastic bags containing the flotation material (this can be checked by squeezing each bag and listening for escaping air.)”

 
While we cannot always prevent a boating accident from occurring, we can take the necessary measures to help increase the chances of surviving the incident. In the event you or someone you know was recently involved in a boating accident in Tennessee, it would be in your best interest to speak with a Memphis, TN accident lawyer. The attorneys we can place you in touch with can help determine if the boat malfunctioned or if an individual behaved negligently which led to the accident occurring and will even help you hold them accountable for the pain and suffering you have had to endure.
 
To get connected with a local Memphis accident attorney now, contact USAttorneys.com.

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