The Dangers of High Water Levels and Boating | Scott Goodwin Law

The Dangers of High Water Levels and Boating

by / Friday, 31 May 2019 / Published in Maritime Law
Boats anchored at dock on a lake surrounded by trees

There are lots of things a person can do to help make boating a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone, both while you’re on the water and before you even set sail. One thing you’ll find at the top of that list is to check the conditions of the water on the day you’re planning to head out on your boat.

Water conditions can change very quickly on a day-to-day basis. On some days, the current can be faster than others and there are times when water levels can be unusually high or unusually low. Boating in low water levels can easily lead to problems, but taking your boat out when water levels are high can be dangerous as well.

Water levels can increase after times of major rainfall, whether it’s caused by a series of strong storms or because of a particularly long stretch of rainy (but not necessarily stormy) weather. When water levels are high enough to reach the flood stage, it might seem like it would be a fun time to take your boat out for a ride, but in reality, there might be some dangerous hazards hiding underneath that extra water.

When water levels are high enough to reach the flood stage, there’s a good chance that the extra water has pulled debris from the land into the water, so you might end up unexpectedly encountering things like loose fence posts or outdoor furniture in the water. Even if you do see something in the water and try to avoid it, there’s a chance that you might be misjudging the size of the object. For example, what might appear to be a small branch floating in the water could actually be part of a much larger part of a tree that got knocked into the water.

High water levels can also make it harder to see structures in the water that would be easier to see on a day with more typical water levels. If water levels are high enough to cover things like docks or dams, it can be very easy for boats to unexpectedly run into them.

It’s also important to note that when water levels are high, the current is also likely stronger as well. So if you end up getting into an accident while on the water and someone ends up in the water unexpectedly, even an experienced swimmer could have a very difficult time staying afloat.

Boating accidents can easily occur on any day, even when weather and water conditions are ideal. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, don’t hesitate to contact a boating accident lawyer as soon as possible. The sad reality about boating accidents is that in so many cases, they could have been prevented. At Goodwin & Siceszka, we have lawyers who are experienced in working with the victims of boating accidents. Contact us today to see how we can help you.