Heading out on a boat can be an enjoyable way to spend a summer day. But as you’re relaxing, it’s important to keep safety in mind anytime you’re on the water. Read on to learn more about boating safety tips to ensure the security of you and your family next time you head out to sea.
1. Check the Weather
Before heading out, watch the forecast and make sure the weather is optimal for boating. If any storms are forecasted, avoid going out on the water. And if a sudden squall strikes when you’re on the boat, head into shore as soon as it’s safe, preferably at the first sign of dark clouds.
2. Enforce Life Jacket Safety
Every member of your party should be wearing a life jacket, no exceptions. The majority of fatalities from boating accidents happen to those who are not wearing protective gear on the water. Make sure they are fitted and put on properly and that they are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.
3. Don’t Drink and Boat
As with driving, consuming alcohol before boating is extremely dangerous. Not only does drinking impair your judgment, but a variety of factors, such as being in the sun and the movement of the boat, can amplify its effects when you’re out on the water.
4. Prepare Before Embarking
Make sure you tell someone that’s staying behind where you’re planning to go, who will be with you, and when you expect to be back. That way, they’ll be able to alert the proper authorities if something goes wrong, increasing your chance of rescue. Run through a checklist before embarking so you don’t head out without any important safety equipment.
5. Know the Laws
Always review the tenets of your boating safety course, including any regulations that are specific to the area where you’ll be heading out. Observe traffic laws, especially when boating in a crowded area.
By following these five simple steps, you can help ensure that a pleasant day spent out on your boat doesn’t turn into an emergency. Remind all passengers about any safety rules that they need to observe, as well.