After a winter cooped up at home, a day on the water is an excellent way to bring your friends and family together to enjoy the beauty of nature. Taking the time to stop and think about safety can keep a relaxing day from becoming a rough day on the water.
Here are some boating tips to make your next adventure safe and fun.
- Wear a life jacket! 84% of drowning victims were not wearing life jackets. Make sure everyone on the boat has a life jacket that properly fits before leaving shore.
- Check the weather. Check it often and head back to the shore right away if you see darkening clouds, rough changing winds or sudden drops in temperature.
- Take a boating course. Operator error accounts for approximately 70% of boating accidents. Many communities and organizations offer free or online boater safety courses.
- Give your boat a full inspection. Before getting on board, check your engine for any issues and leaks, ensure lights are functioning, check all electrical components and be sure that wiring is not damaged. You should also make sure that your radio devices are functioning properly and that your boat is equipped with a marine-type fire extinguisher. For your added peace of mind, the U.S. Coast Guard provides free vessel safety examinations.
- Dress appropriately. Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts to prevent bugs bites if you are going out around dawn and dusk. Wear nonslip shoes to help prevent slipping or falling overboard. Also, light colors are recommended, as they will keep you cool in the bright sun.
- Never operate a boat under the influence. It is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, just as it is when driving a car. Any operators on board should not consume any alcoholic beverages before or during operation of the boat.
- Have a float plan. You should also notify others of that plan. It is suggested by the U.S. Coast Guard that a float plan includes:
- name, address and phone number of trip leader
- name and phone number of all passengers
- boat type and registration information
- trip itinerary
- types of communication and signal equipment onboard
By following our safety tips, you and your loved ones should have fun all summer long. We want you to keep your marine adventures safe! If you have been injured in a boating accident, contact the personal injury experts at Hupy and Abraham for a free, no-obligation consultation. Call 800-800-5678 or start a live chat with us anytime at Hupy.com.