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Guide: Boat Safety Tips for the Summer

Chapter 1: Boat Safety Tips for the summer 

Chapter 2: 5 Safety Tips for Boat Drivers

Chapter 3: ​​Utah Safety Boating Requirements

Chapter 4: 5 of the Most Common Types of Boat Accidents

Chapter 5: Navigation Buoy Types

Chapter 6: Requirements for Lifejackets in Utah

Chapter 1: Boat Safety Tips for the Summer 

In 2020, there were 767 boat-related fatalities in the USA. Here are some tips to help your boat safely to safety this summer.

Wear a Life Jacket

Always have an accessible life jacket your size in water. All children on the boat should have a fitting safety jacket. Test all life jackets for buoyancy annually to ensure they are in good working conditions.

Be Proactive

Familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations. We at Robert J. DeBry & Associates can help you understand the rules about boat safety in your state. Some states have an age limit for children to the boat ride. Other areas require one to take a boat safety course in advance.


Have a Float Plan

Document all members on board, the contact information, destination, and expected return time. Keep a personal injury lawyer in the loop. The float plan will guide the rescue operations. 

Look Out for the Weather

Drastic weather change could be the turning point for that dream cruise. Check the weather forecast. Keep monitoring changes using weather applications. In case of tides, strong winds, storms, or lightning, seek shelter.

Avoid Overloading

Boats, yachts, and ferries all have a maximum capacity indicated. Confirm the requirement for safety. Carry appropriate luggage capacity as overloading could quickly capsize the ship. 

A personal injury lawyer can help you in a boating accident. Visit Robert J. DeBry & Associates to speak to an attorney who can guide you through the steps after a boating accident. 


Chapter 2: 5 Safety Tips for Boat Drivers

Are you brand new or a veteran in the boating world? We at Robert J. Debry & Associates are always available to ensure boat drivers’ safety assurance through an available personal injury lawyer. As boat drivers, there are some things that you must do to ensure you are safe.

Safety Gear

We cannot emphasize this enough, safety gear for the passengers and the drivers is essential. According to the University of Missouri Health Care, you should have a properly fitted life jacket. Safety gear prevents any adverse impacts in case of an accident during a boat riding experience. 

Weather Conditions 

Before setting sail, one of the most crucial aspects is to check the weather. The waves and other aspects of the water determine how safe it is to sail. The National Maritime College informs you that you should always get an updated marine forecast. 

Boat Limits 

The boat comes with specific limitations associated with capacity and speed. Going beyond the boat’s limits may lead to a strain on the ship, causing an accident. In such incidents, we, Robert J. Debry & Associates, are always ready to provide a personal injury lawyer for adequate compensation.

Boating Laws 

In the same way, as there are road rules, laws also apply to water bodies. We are always ready to provide suitable legal counsel to a boat driver. However, as a boat driver, you must follow all the rules and regulations for a personal injury lawyer to offer services. 

Boat Condition 

Poor maintenance affects any machine’s efficiency. This aspect applies to boats too. Regular maintenance is essential for the ship to operate at total capacity. We at Robert J. DeBry & Associates are ready to offer the best personal injury lawyer in case of an accident.

Boat rides are prone to various incidents. Boat drivers must consider the stated safety tips. Our friendly personal injury lawyers will assist you to realize if you have a case and all the available options. Visit for information about Robert J. DeBry & Associates. Do not hesitate to contact us today! 

Chapter 3: ​​Utah Safety Boating Requirements

Not following basic boating safety rules can cause accidents that affect you or others. 80% of people who drown in boating accidents could have survived if they had been wearing a PFD. 

Life Jackets 

According to Utah law, all boats must have one wearable USA Coast Guard-approved life jacket of the proper size, in good condition, and readily accessible. According to the USA Coast Guard approval label, life jackets must meet age, weight, activity, and use requirements.

Children under 12 must wear a life jacket while the boat is operating. You must wear Type V life jackets according to the requirements listed on the label. Life jackets aren’t necessary for children in enclosed cabins on boats longer than 19 feet.

Fire Extinguishers

It is required to have both types of fire extinguishers required on all motorboats serviceable by the USA Coast Guard or Underwriters Laboratory.

  1. Rechargeable: As labeled, these fire extinguishers need servicing every five years. They need to be recharged or replaced if discharged. 
  2. Disposable: These contain plastic extinguishers with a 12-year expiration date and will need replacing if discharged.


Fuel vapors from enclosed engines and fuel tank compartments are heavier than air and will build up in the bottom of a gasoline-powered boat with covered motors, inboard, or outboard. Gas vapors are denser than air and cannot disperse without proper ventilation. When starting the engine, you should ventilate the boat well, especially after refueling. 

Backfire Flame Control 

A backfire flame arrestor is a must-have on the carburetor of all inboard gasoline engines approved by the U.S. Coast Guard or Underwriters Laboratory. 

Navigation Lights 

While operating between sunset and sunrise, all boats must display navigation lights. 

Alcoholic beverages are legal on all boats, but you can’t operate a motorboat while under the influence. The same penalties apply to boating as to driving under the influence, including the suspension of licenses and possible prison time. 


Chapter 4: 5 of the Most Common Types of Boat Accidents

It’s that time when most of us love to be in the water. As you’ve guessed, it’s the boating season. Unfortunately, many boating accidents happen during the boating season. According to this report by the Coast Guard, there were over 2000 accidents in 2020 alone. Often, these accidents require a personal injury lawyer, and that’s where we come in. But first, let’s look at the most common types of boating accidents.

Operator Inexperience

It’s too familiar for young boaters to get excited about operating a boat. However, if they haven’t gone to boating school, they may not know how to use a ship correctly. Inexperienced boaters may make mistakes, and it also means more accidents.

Alcohol Use

When out on the lake with your friends or family, the chances are you’ll want to have a drink. However, alcohol usage accounted for at least 293 accidents in 2020—a slight increase from 2019’s statistics. 

With that in mind, you’ll want to ensure you’re enjoying yourself responsibly and remember you are operating a motorized vehicle. 

Operator Inattention

This is not very easy because you may be an experienced boater. However, sometimes things can go wrong, such as the weather or not paying attention. Sometimes, it may not be your fault that you’re in an accident. If that’s the case, at Robert J. DeBry & Associates, we have an experienced personal injury lawyer that can help you. 

Improper lookout

This is like operator inattention. However, as a boater, it’s essential to look out for rocks, swimmers, and kayakers, just to name a few. The worst thing is to hit someone because you did not see them. This would give them grounds to hire their injury lawyer if they have sustained injuries. If you are in that situation, Robert J. Debry & Associates can advise you on what to do next. 


Speeding almost guarantees an accident. If you don’t slow down on time, you risk colliding with another vessel or object. In Utah, there is a speed limit in a wakeless area and within 150 feet of another boater, swimmer or skier.

If you’ve been in a boating accident, our team of personal injury lawyers at Robert J. Debry & Associates is here to help. We will treat you with compassion and talk to you about your next steps so that you can get back on the water.


Chapter 5: Navigation Buoy Types

Founded in 1980, Our injury attorneys at Robert J. DeBry & Associates have knowledge and experience in Utah laws to help victims get compensated. Understanding the safety signs assists in navigating within a channel, which is crucial to preventing boating accidents. 

Different Types of Buoys

The buoys used in boating are floating devices providing information to boat operators on the water. Each buoy has its meaning, and boaters must understand the signs to navigate safely.

Starboard hand buoys: Boat operators should keep starboard hand buoys on their right side while going upward, as they are red and marked with even numbers.

Port hand buoys: Green buoys indicate port hand buoys that boat operators should keep on their left side while traveling upstream.

Fairway buoys: Indicate safe water with vertical red and white stripes.

Bifurcation buoys: Bifurcation buoys indicate the preferred channel for boats heading upstream at the end of a waterway. Port bifurcation buoys are green with a horizontal red band. Starboard bifurcation buoys are red but with one horizontal green stripe.

Isolated danger buoys: A single red band marks a lone danger buoy in navigable water.

Special buoys: The information provided by special buoys is not usually related to navigation.

Anchorage buoys: A buoy marking the perimeter of an anchorage is yellow with a black anchor symbol.

Cardinal buoys: A cardinal buoy is a black and yellow buoy that indicates the deepest or safest water according to the cardinal points.

Mooring buoys: The top third of these buoys is orange, and the rest is white.

Cautionary buoys: Mark danger areas with yellow buoys.

Hazard buoys: The orange diamond symbol and white band on these buoys indicate hazards such as rocks or turbulent waters.

Keep-out buoys: This buoy is white with orange bands, and the orange diamond contains a cross.

Control buoys: Boats must obey specific rules in areas with control buoys. These buoys are white with orange bands.

Information buoys: The information buoys are white with orange bands and orange square symbols.

Diving buoys: Divers’ buoys mark dive sites with white buoys with red flags and a white diagonal stripe.

Swimming buoys: A swimming area’s perimeter is marked with a white buoy.


Chapter 6: Requirements for Lifejackets in Utah

Life Jackets are an essential part of keeping everyone on the boat safe. According to statistics, life jackets could have saved 80% of people who died from drowning in boat accidents. Our injury attorneys at Robert J. DeBry & Associates have knowledge and experience in Utah laws to help victims get compensated. 

Requirements for Utah’s Life Jackets

Every person aboard a vessel must have at least one USA Coast Guard-approved life jacket of the appropriate size readily accessible and not in an out-of-reach location. According to Utah law, each boat must have a wearable life jacket approved by the U.S Coast Guard, in good and serviceable condition, and readily accessible to each crew member.

Life jackets must be used for the appropriate age, weight, activity, and use restrictions stated on the USA Coast Guard approval label. Unless a person is on a closed cabin of a boat longer than 19 feet, or a personal watercraft, Utah boating laws require kids under 12 to wear a life jacket.

Life jackets must be in good working order and checked regularly per U.S. Coast Guard standards. Before wearing a life jacket or personal floatation device, check that the following six are accurate.

  1. There are no tears, rips, or holes in the fabric of the PFD.
  2. Keep your bag in good condition for the seams, straps, and buckles.
  3. PFDs should not smell damp or have water stains.
  4. It does not appear that the buoyant material has shrunk.
  5. There is no leak from the PFD (unless it has kapok bags, which float naturally). Gently squeeze the bag to check for leaks. Throw away the PFD if it leaks.
  6. The U.S. Coast Guard label is visible.

Have you been injured in a boat accident? Our law firm, Robert J. DeBry & Associates, specializes in personal injury cases. A member of our legal team is available to speak with you 24/7.

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