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Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

Did you know there are over 17 million recreational boats in the United States? Most people are passionate about reducing the amount of stress in their life, which is why they invest in a boat. Being able to unplug and go on a long boat ride can be a lot of fun.

While being a boat owner can be very beneficial, there are a number of dangers associated with operating one of these machines on the water. If you let your guard down for even a second, you may be involved in a boating accident.

These boating accidents can cause both bodily harm and lots of property damage. This is why you need to take precautions when putting your sea-faring vessel on the water.

The following are just some of the most common types of boating accidents and what you need to do when involved in one.

1. Colliding With Another Boat

Most people fail to realize just how popular recreational boats are. As you start to take your new boat out, you will probably notice a number of other people on the water with sea-faring vessels of their own.

One of the most common mishaps on the water is the collision of two boats. These collisions can happen for a number of different reasons. Often times, one of the boat operators will act in a negligent manner, which leads to these accidents occurring.

If you are looking for a way to avoid these types of collisions, then start by paying close attention to your surroundings. Failing to realize the dangers that surround you on the water is a recipe for disaster.

2. Boat Flooding Accidents

Before taking your boat out on the water for the first time, you need to make sure all of the essential supplies you need are onboard. One of the most important items you need to have on your boat is a lifejacket for each person embarking on this journey. Unfortunately, flooding accidents are quite common, which is why having lifejackets onboard is a must.

Often times, things like poor weather conditions or even holes in a boat can lead to lots of water weighing it down. Without the right safety gear, these flooding accidents can lead to drownings.

Doing things like inspecting your boat before taking it out is a good idea when trying to avoid flooding accidents. You also need to check local weather conditions before getting out on the water. If there is a good chance of rain or thunderstorms, then you probably need to rethink taking the boat out.

3. Colliding With a Fixed Object

Becoming a great boat captain will take time and a lot of practice. One of the biggest mistakes you can make while at the helm is not paying attention to the waters ahead. Colliding with a fixed object like a rock or even a post can do a lot of damage to your boat and may even lead to injuries occurring.

In most cases, these types of accidents will happen as a result of the boat operator being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Nearly every state has strict laws regarding operating a boat while under the influence. Instead of running the risk of losing your boating license, stay sober while operating one of these machines.

You also need to avoid distractions like cell phones while operating a boat. Being completely aware of your surroundings is the only way to ensure a collision with a fixed object doesn’t occur. Once you have put your anchor down, you can relax and enjoy the scenery.

4. Grounding Can Be Dangerous

As an inexperienced boat operator, you are bound to make mistakes. Most inexperienced boat operators will have an issue with grounding at one time or another. Grounding is the term used to describe running a boat onto higher underwater land masses or sandbars.

If you do ground your boat, it will probably cause a lot of damage to the underside of the vessel. The only real way to avoid this type of accident is by getting familiar with your surroundings. Using tools like a GPS can help you detect sandbars and avoid them.

5. Water Skiing Accidents

Most boating enthusiasts love the thrill and excitement of water skiing. While this sport is a lot of fun, it can also be extremely dangerous. Being pulled across the water at such high speeds can create some dangerous situations for both the person skiing and the individual operating the boat.

Doing things like hitting the water at a bad angle or hitting objects in the water can lead to severe injuries. Before getting in the water to ski, be sure to take the proper precautions.

Having the right safety equipment and letting a well-trained boat operator run the craft can help to reduce the danger of this sport. With a proper life vest on, you can avoid drowning should you lose your grip on the ski rope.

How to React to Being Involved in Boating Accidents

As you can clearly see, operating a boat can be extremely dangerous. If you have been involved in a boating accident that was caused by the other party’s negligent actions, contacting a lawyer is a good idea.

With their help, you can figure out whether or not a lawsuit needs to be filed. You can learn more about these types of accidents and how to file a lawsuit with a bit of online research.

Staying Safe on the Water

The main goal you should have when taking your vessel on the water is avoiding boating accidents. The only way to do this is by staying aware of your surroundings.

Looking for more information about operating a boat? If so, check out our article on steps to take when you are involved in a boating accident.