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Finding Boat Safety

With the arrival of the much anticipated film, Finding Dory, it takes me back to 2003 when I was but 10 years old and singing, “Just keep swimming,” over and over after watching Finding Nemo. My parents now refuse to watch any of the “Finding Franchise” after being forced to watch it so many times and I assume they are not alone. However, there is one part in the film that has stayed with me, if not for crude humor:

Now, the “butt” being referenced is the bottom of a boat, a vehicle many of you, my dear readers, may find yourselves on this weekend. While boats are incredibly fun, between just cruising to wake boarding and surfing, they are still machines and can be very dangerous if not respected or used properly. Even in Nemo, the parents of all the fish warn the little ones not to play near boats, and to be safe. So, in the spirit of Marlin, the overbearing and helicopter dad out to save his son, Curcio Law would like to put forth a few tips to stay safe while on a boat.

  1. Prepare a Pre-Departure checklist.
  2. Designate a 2nd Mate
    1. Make sure to have at least two people on the boat who know how to handle the controls. That way, if one becomes injured or incapacitated and can no longer navigate or operate the vehicle, the other can take over and safely take you back to shore. Furthermore when out on the water, ensure someone who knows how to drive the boat is on at all times. Even if you drop anchor to swim and hang out, someone must be on the vessel to intervene in case of an emergency.
  3. Develop a Float Plan.
    • Whether you choose to inform a family member or staff at your local marina, always be sure to let someone onshore know your float plan. This should include where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone. Some other information to have in your float plan can be:
      1. name, address, and phone number of trip leader
      2. name and phone number of all passengers
      3. boat type and registration information
      4. trip itinerary
      5. types of communication and signal equipment onboard, such as an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)

 

  1. Avoid alcohol and wear life jackets.
    1. Most boating accidents and fatalities are linked to alcohol and improper use of life jackets. Regardless of your swimming ability always wear a life jacket when on a boat. Similarly, it is best to keep your wits about you when on the water, as situations can change very quickly. Leave the partying for the shore.
  2. Boat Courses
    1. Consider taking a boating safety course. States differ on the education requirements for taking boating safety courses, however, in Virginia a boating safety course is required for any person operating a motorboat. We suggest anyone who is going to be riding in a boat to take a course on safety. As we say knowledge is power. Many groups offer courses such as, The US Coast Guard, Boat Owners Association of the US, the American Sailing Association, and many more.
  3. Free Vessel Safety Check
    1. A well-kept secret, the US Coast Guard will perform complimentary safety inspections of motorboats where they will check that all the equipment is present and up to snuff. They also offer online safety checklists as well.

Curcio Law wishes you all a happy and safe Fourth! We hope you “rock on” harder than Crush and the rest of the sea turtles in Nemo, but we want you to be as safe as possible.

Roxie

Our resident skipper, Tom Curcio, who can often be found out on the Potomac pulling his son Peter on his wakeboard or cruising with his wife, Gale and their dog, Roxie, approved this message.

 

 

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Thomas J. Curcio
Founder

Tom Curcio, the driving force behind Curcio Law, is a dedicated trial lawyer with more than 35 years of experience in Northern Virginia. He has dedicated his career to representing people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. He works tirelessly to obtain the compensation his clients are legally entitled to…

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Rakin Hamad
Associate

Rakin Hamad is a recent graduate of the George Mason Law School and joined Curcio Law as an associate in August 2018. Rakin works closely with Tom Curcio and staff in preparing cases from the initial client meeting through trial and has been a perfect fit for the firm. During law school, Rakin interned at…

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Julia Martinez
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Julia Martinez, a Florida native, joined Curcio Law as a paralegal in 2013. She began her legal career in 1998 working at a personal injury firm that primarily handled automobile accidents, slip and falls, and products liability cases. Then, in 2008 she expanded her knowledge by working at two other law firms. She obtained her…

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Kathy McAfee
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As the firm’s office manager, Kathy McAfee is dedicated to making sure the office runs smoothly and that the team has what it needs by way of resources, technology, and supplies to best serve our clients. Kathy graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Roanoke College in 1986 and afterward, returned to Alexandria. She began…

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Maureen Burke, RN, MSN
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Maureen Burke was born and raised in the Boston, Massachusetts area and relocated to the Alexandria area in 1984 where she and her husband raised their three children. Maureen graduated with a BS in Nursing from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire and an MS in Nursing from George Mason University. Maureen has worked at…

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