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Fatal Tubing Accidents Highlight Need for Safety Precautions

As San Diego accident attorneys, we are concerned that there have already been several fatal California boating accidents this summer. Most recently, a teen was killed in a tragic tubing accident on a Fresno-area river.

In another recent incident, the 19-year-old son of country singer Craig Morgan died after being thrown from a tube while boating in the waters of Kentucky Lake in Humphreys County, Tennessee. Officials believe Jerry Greer likely collided with another person on the tube when it flipped. While he was wearing a life jacket, it was not Coast-Guard approved.

To avoid a tragic accident, local water skiers, wake boarders, and tubers should follow all California laws. For instance, state law provides that anyone being towed behind a vessel must wear a Type I, II, III, or V Coast Guard-approved life jacket. In addition, California law requires there to be at least two persons aboard a boat towing a water skier: the operator, and an observer 12 years of age or older.

If you plan to go tubing this summer, we encourage you to keep the following additional safety precautions in mind:

  • Know your equipment: It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for water tubing capacity in terms of size and weight, number of riders, age limits, and maximum towing speed.
  • Know your rider: Drivers should always exercise common sense when it comes to the experience of the person on the tube. This is particularly true with small children. While sharp turns, high speeds, and big waves can be fun, these should never come at the expense of rider safety.
  • Be aware of water regulations: Become familiar with the specific regulations governing the particular body of water, especially towing speeds.
  • Drive Responsibly: The driver should be alert, sober, and have a solid grasp of boating rules and regulations. Be respectful of and keep your distance from other boats in the area when water tubing, and always keep an eye out for additional water hazards such as rocks, docks, and buoys.
  • Use a secure tow line: It’s important to always verify that the tow line is securely tied before starting the boat. Also check for signs of wear, tear, and fraying, and replace as needed. Be sure to only use rope that is specifically designated for towing inflatables.
  • Check before you start: Never start the boat without first making sure that your rider is ready to go. This means that they have a firm grip on the line, are properly positioned on the tube, and that the line is properly and safely positioned.
  • Handle wakes with care: Slow the boat speed when crossing wakes. Bouncing off wakes at extremely high speeds can cause back injury.

Source: Discover Boating

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury in a California 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 accident, we can advocate on your behalf to help hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions and seek the compensation you deserve.