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Safety on the Water

About a year ago I went kayaking with some friends on the Potomac River. We decided to land on the shore and do some hiking. While disembarking from my kayak, I managed to gracefully slip and fall right into the shallows of the Potomac River. Covered in water and mud, pretty embarrassed around a couple of cute guys, I played it off as best I could, treading water in the shallows, bragging that I was a water-baby. That was not a lie, I have been swimming since I was 3 years old, competitively up through college. When it comes to bodies of water I am confident in my abilities to stay afloat, but that doesn’t mean I do not respect the dangers all bodies of water threaten. I remember how difficult it was to pull myself from the water, not from mortification, but from the undercurrent in the Potomac. I was lucky, had I not been able to pull myself out I had friends on shore willing to give me a hand, and a kayak in arms reach I could grab and get into. However, not everyone is as lucky.

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This past Sunday, a man and two of his friends went out fishing on the Potomac near Mount Vernon. While details from the excursion are still under investigation, the man ended up in the Potomac River, supposedly to get a fishing rod. He began to struggle and his friends tried to help by throwing him a life jacket and a line. Neither reached the man and he went under. His friends did not know how to operate his boat and had to wait for the Coast Guard to come help. They are still trying to recover the man’s body.

Now, over the Fourth of July weekend we posted a blog about boating safety. We gave a lot of great safety tips in that blog but in light of the accident yesterday we would like to reiterate a few.

First, when it comes to safety equipment there must always be enough life jackets on the boat. These vests should always be worn! Even if you are an amazing swimmer anything can happen when you get pitched overboard. Second, by law, any vessel out on the water must have at least one throw ring onboard. Throw rings are those white ring floatation devices attached to a line. These are required around any body of water because of their utility and versatility. They are aerodynamic and can be thrown farther and with more ease, and their ring shape makes it easier for drowning victims to hang on and be pulled back to the vessel or shore. Second, when it comes to boating safety at least 2 people on the boat should know how to operate the machinery and at least one should always be on the boat. It goes without saying that alcohol should not be consumed around large bodies of water, especially if you are going to be operating the vessel.

We implore all of our readers to be safe in boats and to respect and be wary of natural bodies of water. They can be unpredictable and dangerous. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim from this past weekend.

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Thomas J. Curcio
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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
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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, 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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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 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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