It’s looking like a gorgeous Memorial Day weekend in New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes. The Finger Lakes are my home. I live on Seneca Lake, my office is near Owasco Lake, and my family has a cottage (“camp” as it is known locally) on Skaneateles Lake. These lakes, together with the other 8 Finger Lakes — Otisco Lake, Cayuga Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, Canadice Lake, Hemlock Lake, and Conesus Lake – form a natural water-bejeweled necklace.
Admiring the lakes from the shore is one thing, but many of us Finger-Lakers like to get out ON them. Unfortunately, every year I have an opportunity to blog about a serious, or fatal, boating accident on one of the Finger Lakes (see the blog links below this article). And sometimes my personal injury law firm ends up representing injured boaters in lawsuits against boat operators and others who cause boating accidents.
Almost every boating accident I have seen has been avoidable. But don’t worry – I am not going to lecture you about boating safety rules (like checking the weather forecast, maintaining a safe speed, designating an assistant skipper, avoiding alcohol if you are operating the boat, taking a boating course, checking your vessel for safety). Oops, I just did lecture you!
Instead, I want to focus on just one safety tip: wearing life jackets. Although you are not legally required in New York to actually WEAR them during the warm months (you only need to have one per passenger somewhere on the boat), do. Even if you are a great swimmer, do! Why? Well, for one thing, no matter how well you swim, you’re probably no good at it if you are knocked unconscious!
By the way, children under age twelve must wear a life jacket. And even adults must wear them on jet skis and the like, and if they are water skiing or tubing .
Discover more boating safety tips here.
Here are some of my other blog posts about boating accidents:
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