Taking a nighttime boat ride may be one of your favorite ways to enjoy yourself. However, sometimes the water is not safe and it is not because of a hazard presented by nature. Some boat operators do not navigate their vessels in a responsible manner and increase the risk of causing a collision.
If you know why the night hours could pose risks to you as a boat operator, you might be able to take those risks into account before going out into the water. Boating Safety explains some causes of nighttime boating accidents.
Many boating accidents happen because a boat operator is piloting the boat at too high a speed. The body of water may be too small for certain boating speeds. Conditions can also be a factor, particularly if night has fallen and has decreased visibility. A boat operator who does not consider this fact may drive the boat too fast for conditions and will probably not be able to avoid another boat even if the operator sees the craft before impact.
A lack of a lookout
Some boats get into a crash simply because their operators did not see another boat approaching. Boat operators have a responsibility to be alert to their surroundings, and if they cannot keep sufficient watch on the water, they should have someone looking out for other boats. This is especially important during the night when it is not as easy to spot other watercraft.
Broken down boats
Mechanical failure is another reason for serious boating accidents. Sometimes boat motors cease to function because of electrical problems and strand a boat. A failure of the boat lights could add to the problem if the breakdown occurs at night since it can make it hard for other boaters to spot the stranded boat. A speeding boat runs a special risk of crashing into a stranded vessel, particularly if the boat is dark.
Drunk driving can cause major automobile accidents. A boat operator who drinks runs the same risk of colliding with another boat since drinking slows down reflexes and affects the ability to discern objects and judge distances. Drinking at night can make things even worse due to the reduced visibility of night.
The bottom line is that all boaters should be responsible when operating their watercraft. California waters should be for the enjoyment of state residents and not the setting of a serious accident.