As San Diego accident attorneys, we are concerned about boat safety as
the summer approaches. In 2014, there were four boating fatalities and
38 injuries in the waters of San Diego. Overall, there were more than
500 boating accidents in California,
according to the California State Parks Division of Boating and Waterways.
Collision with another boat and collision with a fixed object are two of
the most common types of accidents. Similar to the rules of the road used
to prevent collisions on California’s roadways, there are also boat
navigation rules designed to prevent collisions on the state’s waterways.
Just like drivers, boaters call navigation rules – the basic laws
governing the steering or sailing of a boat – “The Rules of
the Road.” Below are a few of the most important rules:
- Post a lookout. Designate someone to watch for dangers that may come from
- Maintain a safe speed. Except where speed is restricted by regulation or
the waterway is marked by a “No Wake” or “Slow Speed,”
you must judge “safe speed” for yourself, taking into account
visibility, vessel traffic, your boat’s ability to maneuver, and
the weather conditions.
- Avoid a collision. The Rules of the Road include the actions to take when
encountering another vessel on the water. Some of the most common situations
you may encounter are overtaking, meeting head on, and crossing the bow
of another vessel. In each case, the boat designated as the “give-way”
vessel is required to yield to the other boat, while the boat designated
as the “stand-on” vessel should maintain its course and speed.
- When meeting another vessel head on, a port-to-port passing is preferred.
Passing starboard-to-starboard is acceptable when necessary.
- In a crossing situation, the give-way vessel must act to avoid a collision.
This may include altering its course to pass astern of the stand-on vessel
or slowing down. The stand-on vessel should maintain its course and speed.
If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury in a boating
accident, don’t hesitate to contact
a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free
consultation. After a serious California boating collision, we can advocate
on your behalf to help hold the negligent parties accountable for their
actions and seek the compensation you deserve.