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.