Summer is the time to dust off the watercraft and head out to the lake for some cool fun on the water. Until that fun comes to a screaching halt with a deadly collision of watercraft. Last weekend there was another deadly crash at Pyramid Lake in Southern California when two men on a jet ski collided into a ski boat. it appears that the driver of the jet ski died on impact and the passenger survived with serious injuries. The survivor was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment where he is reported to be in stable but serious condition.
Let's remember that boating is not all fun and games and watercraft and alcohol do not mix. Before heading out on any watercraft please learn the rules of the water. Consider taking a boating safety course offered for free by the U.S. Coast Guard (http://www.uscgboating.org/recreational-boaters/boating-safety-courses.php). Also, learn the rules of the particular body of water where you are boating. Ask a ranger or a lake patrol officer if you have questions. That is what they are there for. Most lakes have speed limits, directions for travel and other safety rules which are set up for everyone's well being. Observe the slow/no wake zones and be cautious of swimmers in the water near the shore and anywhere else on the lake.
Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol can get you arrested just like driving a car. Never board a watercraft when the driver has been drinking. Never go out on a boat or ski without a lifejacket on or available for all occupants. Always have a fire extinguisher handy. Always use an observer and a flag when towing behind any watercraft. This tells others there is someone in tow. Always respect other boaters' red flags and always keep your distance from watercraft with passengers in tow. Consider taking a first aid course (http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class) before setting out on your watercraft.
Finally, don't leave your common sense on the shore. Be safe, slow down and have fun out there, and if you have questions about watercraft injuries please call me: (818) 783-5700. And don't forget your sunscrean.