Boating Safety Tips

7198326_mBoating accidents can turn deadly very quickly, even if the initial problem is minor. Unexpected weather conditions, boat malfunction, and numerous other issues can create a boating emergency. These basic boating safety tips can help you enjoy the water safely.

  • Always wear your life jacket, even if you are a good swimmer. Make sure each passenger has a properly fitting life jacket, and wears it at all times. Life jackets need to be tested for wear and buoyancy annually.
  • If you don’t know how to swim, take a course now, before you go out on the water.
  • Check the weather before you go out on the water. Take a weather radio to listen for any warnings. Keep an eye on the weather conditions and if it starts to look questionable, head to shore right away, even if you have not heard anything about it on the radio.
  • Be prepared for extreme temperature fluctuations. Dress in layers.
  • Create a float plan so that someone knows where you will be, when you will be back, and when and where to start looking for you if they do not hear from you by the designated time.
  • Inspect your boat before you go out, every time.
  • Have a checklist for your emergency supplies and equipment. Make sure everything is in order during your inspection.
  • Take enough drinking water for each person on board in case you get stranded.
  • Learn the rules of the water where you will be boating. Even if you are an experienced boater, check the rules if this is a new body of water for you.
  • Stay sober.
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