The summer is a great time to go boating, but only if you know how to stay safe. You should never go out onto the water without knowing how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

Most boating accidents can be avoided with a few simple tips. Here are a couple things you can keep in mind to help you stay safe.

1. Avoid hitting the ground

Yes, even on the ocean, it’s possible to run your boat aground. That means that you either hit your boat on a sandbar or the shore. While that’s not particularly harmful to the boat most of the time, the sudden stop can mean that you or others on the boat are thrown. This could lead to injuries.

If you do run your boat aground, don’t back it up too quickly. You need to make sure there are no cracks in the hull. If it’s in good condition, slowly push your boat back into the water and continue your trip more cautiously.

2. Avoid sinking

You probably aren’t thinking about your boat going down when you head out, but even a small hole can quickly become a problem. Pressure from the water along with the boat’s vibrations could open up a crack and cause a leak that results in your boat sinking. Avoid sinking by checking your boat for damage. Always make sure the hull fittings are tight and working correctly.

If you’re injured because someone driving a boat doesn’t take precautions, you can pursue a claim. Boaters must be cautious not to cause injuries as a result of their negligence.

Source: Boating, “11 Tips for Avoiding Boat Accidents,” accessed Aug. 18, 2017