Travel & Places Outdoors

Basic Boating Safety Tips

Millions of boaters and their passengers will go out on the water this summer, whether on lakes, rivers or the ocean. Before you go out, make sure to brush up on safety with these basic boating safety tips.

Preparation

Don't forget to check the weather and take along appropriate clothing and supplies for whatever weather you may encounter. Don't forget to get a copy of the local boating rules, each state and sometimes each county will have specific boating rules and regulations that you must follow. Don't forget to get whatever permits needed should you be fishing, diving or engaging in some other recreational activity. Make sure you have maps and charts on hand for the area you will be boating in, and plan out your course ahead of time. Make sure your engine and other mechanical and electrical equipment is in working order before taking your boat out. Make sure you have proper amounts of oil and fuel for your entire trip. Pack extra if needed. Make sure to brush up on all maritime warning signals and symbols. Double check to make sure you have your boat registration and boat owner's manual as well as any appropriate licenses on board. Make sure you have enough water, food and protection from the sun on your boat for yourself and every passenger. Don't drink and boat, it's virtually the same as drinking and driving and just as dangerous. You should always observe speed limits in every area.

Safety Equipment

Don't forget the most important safety equipment for boating, a life vest for every single member of your party and a working fire extinguisher. Thousands of people drown each year. Few people who drown have a life vest on. Make sure every member of your party wears their life vest when in your boat. Don't forget special life vests for any children and pets who may be joining you. There are specially sized life vests for every size and shape of person and most animals.

Be Observant and Courteous

When out on the water, be observant. Watch out for other boats, jet skis, swimmers, surfers, rowers and anyone else in or around the water. Be considerate and don't take too long at the boat ramp.

Tread Lightly

Avoid boating in environmentally sensitive areas and be considerate of wildlife you encounter. Avoid spilling fuel, trash or other debris in the water. Go very slow in areas of shallow water. Only use designated boat ramps to load and unload your boat. Try to avoid causing large wakes in the water to lessen soil and shore erosion.

Using these basic boating safety tips, you should be able to enjoy your time on the water safely and with less worry.


Leave a reply