With the Fourth of July holiday here, I would like to remind boaters in Texas to stay safe on the waters over the weekend. If you plan to celebrate the holiday with your friends on s boat, then you must know that there are likely to be more numbers of boaters this weekend who have the same plans as you do, and the consequences are not always good. This weekend, don't mix boating and alcohol. Alcohol was the number one factor in fatal boating accident fatalities in 2010, according to a recent report by the US Coast Guard. Most boating accidents in 2010 could have been prevented if the operator of the vessel had not been under the influence. If you plan to drink while boating, make sure that you have a designated boat operator, who remains sober. Remember, boating under the influence can increase the risks of recklessness, speeding and other undesirable practices that can magnify your risks of an accident. Ensure that you are properly kitted out for boating. Wear a life jacket, and make sure that everybody in your boat is wearing one too. Make sure that the operator of your boat is experienced, and completely familiar with all boating procedures and safety precautions. Avoid boating at excessive speeds. Many of Texas' most popular lakes will see heavy boating traffic this weekend. Look out for other boaters, and avoid stunts with other vessels. Brian Beckcom is a maritime lawyer representing workers injured in offshore and oil-rig accidents, diving accidents, cruise line accidents, and other maritime accidents across the globe.
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