Labor Day weekend is a popular time to head out to Florida’s many waterways. Whether you are heading out to the rivers of Southern Florida or the beaches of Miami, boating accidents and other water-related accidents remain a concern. According to the Coast Guard and other authorities, holiday weekends tend to have higher rates of water-related injury, and Labor Day is a weekend that usually involves many of these types of injuries. The Coast Guard and other authorities have a number of tips to keep you safer around the water:
1) Never head near the water after drinking.
When you’re out on the water, you already have to deal with the sun, the glare off the water, and the Florida heat. When you add alcohol or drugs to the mix, you have the potential for a truly dangerous situation, especially since alcohol and drugs can exacerbate the effects of the sun. Alcohol and drugs can also affect your mobility and your ability to think clearly, which can result in drowning and other water-related tragedies. Boating under the influence is also illegal and can result in criminal charges.
2) Wear a life jacket.
Each person on board a boat should have a Coast Guard approved life vest. In the event of a boating accident, these vests can help keep you above the water, even if you hit your head or lose consciousness. Life jackets also make you more visible if you do go overboard, increasing the chances that emergency responders can find you.