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Boating Safety

No matter how much experience you have, it is always a good idea to review boating safety rules before your departure.  Making the following 10 tips part of your normal routine will help to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for all.

  • Be Weather Wise – Always check the local weather report before heading out.

  • Follow a pre-departure checklist – Make sure personal flotation devices are aboard, check fuel, make sure navigation lights are working, carry a tool box and fire extinguisher, carry distress signals such as flares, etc.

  • Use Common sense – Operate at safe speeds and be aware of your surroundings.  Stay alert at all times.

  • Designate an Assistant Skipper – Make sure at least 1 other person on board can operate the vessel.

  • Develop a Float Plan – Make sure someone on land is aware of where you’re going and how long you will be gone.

  • Make Proper use of Life Jackets – Make sure everyone on board has a proper fitting life jackets.

  • Avoid Alcohol – The probability of being involved in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved.  Studies have shown that alcohol is exacerbated by external factors such as sun and wind.

  • Learn to Swim – Many local organization will provide swim lessons.

  • Take a Boating Course – Boater education requirements vary by state, make sure to be aware of your requirements.

  • Consider a Free Vessel Safety Check – Take advantage of free vessel safety checks from the U.S. Coast Guard.  They will provide a specialist to check out your boat and make helpful boating safety tips and recommendations.