Let’s get you ready for summer boating fun. Here are 10 essential boating safety tips.
1. Be prepared with Safety Gear such as flashlight, duct tape, bucket, first aid kit, whistle, ropes, garbage bags, fire extinguisher, etc.
2. Bring the proper life jackets, you should try it on before purchasing, automatic & manual inflatable life vests can turn an unconscious wearer face up.
3. Check the weather beforehand, warm, sunny days are ideal for boating, but you can’t always predict when a storm will roll in.
4. Don’t overload the boat with people or equipment, always follow your boat’s capacity and weight restriction.
5. Check for harmful fumes, after refueling your boat, open all the hatches and smell for fumes. If detected, don’t start the engine.
6. Use common sense on the water, rules on the water aren’t much different then rules on road, operate a safe speed and do not operate while under the influence.
7. Follow proper anchoring procedure, having the right anchor isn’t enough. To keep the wind from dragging your boat, you may need to drop two anchors in a V-formation.
8. Follow proper docking procedures, as you approach the dock or shore, make sure your bumpers are out to prevent damage to your craft and reduce your speed.
9. Take a boating safety course, the U.S. Coast Guard estimates that 70% of boating accidents are caused by operator error.
10. Get your boat checked, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadrons offer free Vessel Safety Checks.