Many factors may cause boats to sink, from boating accidents to human error to loose screws. As with any emergency, it’s essential to maintain your composure. While seeing your boat flood may be terrifying, there are ways to keep yourself and your companions safe.

Regardless of the reason for the leak, it’s crucial to be prepared. This article will discuss life-saving tips to manage the situation. Read on to discover what it takes to make it safely back to the dock.

1. Wear Your Life Jackets

When it comes to sinking boats, every second counts. Before anything else, ensure everyone’s safety by wearing your life jackets. As much as possible, try to match garments with wearers to ensure they fit properly. If you notice anyone who needs help putting theirs on, make sure you have yours on first.

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2. Get Help

In most cases, SeaTow and TowBoatU.S. vessels are well equipped to help guide leaking boats into safety. However, you have to help them find you. This effort entails working the radio, identifying the GPS location, and using the life raft and Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) if necessary. Ask the most experienced person aboard to take charge of the situation.

3. Find the Leak Source

If the water source from inside your boat didn’t come from a crashing wave, you likely have a leak on your hands. Find it and use everything you can to plug it, from sealants to towels to seat cushions. Next, tilt the hole above the water by moving all other objects and people to the opposite side of the hole.

4. Head Back to Shore

No matter how far offshore you end up, head back to shore once you ensure everyone’s safety. Move at a speed that lets you see any obstacles along the way, such as large jagged rocks. However, don’t slow down too quickly — doing so might cause your backwash to flood your boat even more.

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5. Seek Medical Attention

As soon as you’re out of imminent danger, seek medical attention immediately. Even if you can’t see physical injuries, it’s still best to see a doctor as soon as possible. Sometimes, people may experience internal bleeding or secondary drowning, which may not show symptoms until hours after an accident.

After the Accident: Find a Boating Accident Attorney

Whether you and your companions sustain injuries or not, gather essential information about the boat operators and other passengers, including names, addresses, and contact information. If there are eyewitnesses, include their details, too. Take pictures of the accident as soon as you’re safe. This will make it easier for you to establish liability.

If you need legal representation in Ohio, Michigan, or Indiana, GT&B can help. Our experienced personal injury and boating accident attorneys will take care of all your needs in-house. Call 419-843-6663 to schedule a free consultation.

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