Barbecues, fireworks, and tan lines are all hallmarks of summer. But, nothing can compare to spending a nice day on the lake with your friends and family. Whether you’re fishing with your grandfather or having a party on a yacht, there’s always a way to have fun on the water. As with any recreational activity, there are always risks associated with going out on a boat, so here are some ways to stay as safe as possible!

Use sunscreen. This one might seem obvious, but a lot of people skip wearing sunscreen in an attempt to achieve a tan. The sunburn and lasting skin damage are never going to be worth a tan that lasts maybe a month, so slather up!

Learn the basics of swimming. I’m not saying that you need to start training to be the next Michael Phelps, but being comfortable in the water is a must for any time spent on a boat. Basic skills like floating on your back, treading in the water, and mastering the doggy paddle should be sufficient for a day out.

Wear a life jacket. Even the strongest swimmer tires eventually, and the shock of accidentally falling into the water can cause anyone to freeze up. A properly-fitting life jacket can mean the difference between life and death.

Stay hydrated. If you plan on spending a large chunk of time in the water, you may not notice the heat as much. Cooler water and being partially submerged can trick you into thinking you’re fine, but you’ll likely feel the effects of dehydration soon after getting onto dry land. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can combat this. If you do feel dizzy or dehydrated, find shade immediately. Also, remember to sip, not chug. Chugging water can make you nauseous and cause vomiting.

Special tip for boat owners:
Take time to get as familiar with boat safety and maritime law as possible. As the owner of the boat, it’s your responsibility to ensure the safety of your passengers. In South Carolina, you can take the boat safety exam at any age. If an accident occurs and you’re the owner and operator of the boat, you can face a lot of legal repercussions. Hammack Law Firm is one of the firms in South Carolina that specializes in boating accidents and maritime law. It’s a great idea to know the ins and outs of boat safety before anything goes wrong, but if you find yourself in hot water you should always contact an attorney to seek justice. This also applies to victims of boating injuries! Negligence of the boat owner/operator should never result in an injury or loss of life. If such a tragedy does occur, speak up and find a law firm that has expertise in navigating these waters. They can fight for the coverage of medical bills and other expenses that arise as a result of an accident.

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