A man who was recently found dead in Lake Erie was part of an annual fishing competition. The 45-year-old was just one of approximately 8,000 individuals who were enrolled in the 2019 Walleye Fall Brawl. At the time the man’s body was found by the United States Coast Guard, he was still wearing fishing gear. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Cleveland Metroparks police are still investigating the man’s death.
The most recent available data reveals that the national fatality rate was 5.5 deaths for every 100,000 registered boats. Perhaps even more shockingly, Ohio saw 117 boating accidents in 2017, and those resulted in 20 fatalities. While it might seem like everyone in Ohio only boats during the summer months, this is not the case.
Many people in Ohio decide to head out on Lake Erie and other bodies of water during the winter months. The following will review some safety strategies that you can follow to remain safe while boating on Ohio’s waters this winter.
Create a Float Plan
A float plan includes a description of your vessel, the passengers on board, a description of the safety gear being carried, and a list of your itinerary. Making sure to provide these details to someone on shore who can later help rescuers determine where to begin looking if you do not return as promised. While this might seem like a lot of work, it helps to ensure that you reach your destination safely.
Always Wear a Life Jacket
Life jackets are one of the most vital pieces of safety equipment that can keep you protected while you are on the water. Purchasing life jackets is not enough, though; you should also make sure that your life jacket properly fits you. Even if you do not think you need one, it is always better to be on the safe side of things and wear one. In case you end up in the water, it is much better to be over-prepared than to be missing vital safety equipment.
Remember the 1 – 10 – 1 Principle
While boating this winter, it can prove life-saving to understand some of the strategies about how to navigate cold-water immersion. You should remember the 1 – 10 – 1 principle, which states the following:
- You have one minute after becoming submerged in water to get your breathing under control and appreciate what happened. If you do not control your breathing quickly, your chance of drowning increases substantially.
- After you become aware of your surroundings, you have 10 minutes in which to help yourself recover. After this period, cold water will cause loss of movement ability in your limbs.
- You have approximately one hour until hypothermia sets and you become unconscious.
Speak with an Ohio Accident Attorney
Boating is an enjoyable activity, but accidents happen! If you or a loved one is injured in a boating accident, I will find out what happened. Call me today and during a free case evaluation, we can review your options and make a plan to pursue your compensation. While there are many accident lawyers in Ohio, there is only one Tim Misny… I’ll Make Them Pay!®.