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We are finally seeing summer-like weather which means boaters will be on the waters once again.

Before you set sail, know some basic tips on boating safety.

1. Make sure your boat is in safe condition and contains all required safety equipment (marine radio, cell phone, flares, fire extinguisher, boat lights, anchor, map, horn or whistle, first aid kit), and it is in proper working condition. Follow the manufacturer’s procedures for preparing the boat to set sail.

2. Follow passenger and weight limit requirements. Do not overload the boat. Consider the number of passengers and the amount of equipment on board.

3. Teach at least one other adult how to throttle the boat motor, how to stop the boat, and how to signal for help in case of an emergency situation.

4. Every passenger in the boat, regardless of whether or not they can swim should wear a life jacket at all times. The life jacket should fit properly and have all straps, etc., secured for safety. Make sure the life jacket is in good condition and the appropriate size for the person who is wearing it.

5. Know all navigational rules for the specific waterway.

6. Check the weather forecast before setting sail. Be for changes in weather conditions and know what to do in case a storm suddenly comes up.

7. Remain sober and alert; the use of alcohol contributes to accidents on the water just like on the roadways.

No matter how experienced you are, it is always a good idea to review boating safety rules before departure. Preventing boating accidents is the best way to prevent boating injuries. It is a great idea to take a boat safety class, even if you already have done so. Refresher courses can remind you of important safety tips and there may be new laws or requirements. Equally important is knowing how to swim. Local swim clubs and the American Red Cross offer classes for kids and adults of all ages. Like with most things in life, use common sense. Operate at a safe speed at all times, especially in crowded areas. Keep clear of large watercrafts that have restricted ability in stopping and turning. If everyone follows these tips, boating can be a great way to spend your summer with family and friends.

Mark Bello has thirty-three years experience as a trial lawyer and twelve years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporationwhich helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life funding is needed during litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Business Associate of the Florida, Tennessee, and Colorado Associations for Justice, a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.

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