You love sunny South Carolina days and jet skiing with friends. When riders hit the waves, accidents can happen.
Most people know what to do after a car crash. But what do you do if you have been in a wreck on the water?
Assess the situation
After any recreational boating incident, the first thing you should do is check on each person involved. Get everyone out of the water immediately. Take a headcount and make sure your entire party is safe. You may need to get away from the vessel if possible. A damaged, fuel-filled jet ski could ignite and cause further injuries.
Call the authorities
Contact the local authorities to document the accident. Depending on where the event occurred, you may need river rescue or the coast guard. 911 operators will dispatch the right team for you.
Get checked by a medical professional
Visit a doctor, even if you feel fine. Tell all medical personnel if you swallowed any water during the accident. They will need to check you for lingering damage and conditions like secondary drowning. During secondary drowning, air sacs in the lungs retain fluid and cause pulmonary edema. Lingering water may also cause vocal cords to spasm and close off the airway. Symptoms usually appear immediately after the incident but sometimes do not show up until hours later.
Boating and jet skiing injuries are common, and victims have a right to seek compensation. Keep your head above water and know what to do if an emergency strikes.