A 61-year-old Saginaw man had planned a fun summer getaway: he was going to kayak from Michigan State University to Grand Rapids. He was barely on his way when his plans soon took a turn for the worse when his kayak flipped over in the Red Cedar River. Luckily, prior to starting his journey, he was wise enough to place his cell phone in a plastic bag. This move saved his life, as he was able to call 911 from his cell phone, which allowed authorities to locate him—he was lodged in some branches in a section of river near Aurelius and Mt. Hope roads.
However, not all boaters are so lucky, says the Michigan Association of Insurance Agents. In fact, boating deaths reached a six-year high in 2008 with 36 deaths—up from 35 in the previous year. Since boating is a popular summer activity, it is important to keep the following safety tips to keep in mind:
- · Wear a life jacket.
- · Avoid alcoholic beverages.
- · Complete a boating safety course, no matter what your age.
- · Be especially careful on personal watercraft.
- · Don’t overload your boat.
- · Have a passenger serve as a lookout in addition to the boat operator.
- · Operate at a safe speed.
- · Look out for low water levels or submerged objects.
The Michigan State Police also warn that you should not jump in after someone to save them from drowning—that should always remain a last resort. In fact, both people may end up drowning because we aren’t aware of our limitations and the exhaustion that quickly sets in when trying to hold someone up. However, the MSU Police do recommend putting your cell phone in a plastic bag—it could save your life, the same way it saved this man’s life.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.