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Enjoying a day on the water? Keep safety top priority.

On Behalf of | Jun 6, 2024 | Boat Accidents

A day cruising the beautiful waters of the Lake of the Ozarks is a fantastic way to relax and enjoy the outdoors. But even the most experienced boaters can find themselves in unexpected situations. If you are ever involved in a lake accident, staying calm and taking the proper steps can make a big difference.

So, what should you do if a mishap occurs on the water? Here’s a guide to help you navigate the aftermath of a boating accident.

Ensure everyone’s safety

The first and most important priority is ensuring everyone’s safety. Check for any injuries on board and administer first aid if necessary. If someone is overboard, use life jackets and throw lines to get them back on board safely.

Call for help immediately

Depending on the severity of the accident, call for help using your VHF radio with a “Mayday” call for emergencies or a “Pan-Pan” call for less urgent situations. Clearly state your location, the nature of the accident and the number of people on board.

Stay put (if safe) and document the scene

If your boat is still afloat and not a hazard to navigation, stay at the scene of the accident. This demonstrates cooperation and responsibility. Take pictures and videos of the damage to your vessel and any other boats involved, if possible.

Exchange information with others involved

Once the situation is under control, exchange contact and insurance information with other boaters involved in the accident. Get the names and contact details of any witnesses as well.

File an accident report

Boat accident reporting requirements can vary depending on the severity of the accident and state regulations. Generally, accidents resulting in injury, death or property damage above a certain amount require filing a report with the Missouri State Water Patrol.

Seek medical attention

Even if you feel okay initially, get a thorough medical check-up after a boating accident. Some injuries, like concussions, may not show symptoms immediately.

Following these steps can ensure your safety and well-being after a boating accident. Boating is a fun activity, but being prepared for the unexpected can make a world of difference in a stressful situation.