What to Do after a Boating Accident

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What to Do after a Boating Accident

Speedboat on Ocean

Christmas is fast approaching. Some call it the silly season, we call it boating season. As thousands of people are looking forward to getting their boats in the water over the coming month or two, it’s important to run through all safety measures in case of an accident. This can be a traumatic experience, and it is good to know what steps to take. This could help you save someone’s life, or protect your legal rights. Natal Power Boats has compiled a list of what to do after a boating accident. If you are careful about safety procedures, you shouldn’t need these tips, but just in case:

1. Do a Headcount

Assuming the boat is still afloat, make sure everyone is on it. If anyone has fallen overboard, then you should assist them back onto the boat as soon as possible. You should have a life jacket on or accessible at all times to help you to stay afloat in the event of a boating accident.

2. Determine Who Needs Medical Attention

Once all are aboard, keep the boat out of harm’s way while providing medical assistance to those who need it. The boat should be moved out of the path of oncoming vessels, and then first aid should be provided to injured people. Also determine if anyone aboard other vessels involved needs assistance. You should never leave the scene of a boating accident. It’s important to note that everyone who is involved in a boating accident should seek medical attention, as the shock can mask symptoms of a serious injury.

3. Notify the Authorities

Contact the local emergency authorities as soon as possible after the accident. Note your coordinates should you require assistance, and notify them if anyone needs medical care.

4. Gathering Information

Once you are sure everyone is okay and out of immediate danger, you will next need to obtain essential information. This includes all names, addresses and telephone numbers of the boat operators involved, the passengers aboard any of the vessels, and any eyewitnesses. Also get the registration or identification number, as well as the insurance details of the affected vessels and persons.

5. Document Evidence from the Scene

Try to record as much evidence from the scene of the accident as possible. Use your cell phone to take photographs of the condition of any boats, the boats’ surroundings, and the injured passengers. You should also take photos of anything else that seems significant, such as empty beer bottles or damaged safety gear. All of these pictures can be used to recreate the accident and prove liability if need be.

6. Make Insurance or Injury Claims

It is also important to report it to your insurance company if you owned or operated one of the vessels involved. You should notify your insurer, regardless of whether you or another boater was to blame, as you may need to turn to your insurer to make a claim for damages.

7. Useful Contacts

Make sure you have all the necessary local authority contacts. If going out to sea, it is useful to have the emergency contact at SAMSA; their maritime emergency number is 021 938 3300 and perhaps the NSRI: 031 361 8567.

Be safe and we do hope you will use these tips and safety measures from our blog and be able to avoid any incidents and only gather great memories.

If you were very good this year and Santa is giving you that boat you have always dreamed of, be sure to stop in at Natal Power Boats to find your gift.