Some Important Boating Safety Tips To Ensure Everyone Gets Back Safely
Boating accidents claims the lives of very many people each and every year. Painfully though, is the simple fact that most of these deaths are usually preventable and does include issues such as speeding, inattention, operator inexperience and recklessness. Notwithstanding the aforementioned, it is possible to safely enjoy your boating experience without really spending a lot of money or greatly limiting your past time. In that regard and irrespective of your level of experience, here are some boating safety tips worth taking into consideration.
Leave all Alcohol on-shore
Even though seeing or hearing about people drinking alcohol on boats during the summer is quite common, this is not the smartest idea. Alcohol does impair judgment, reduces your ability to balance and increases the levels of fatigue. Just like driving your car under the influence, steering your boat while drunk does increase your chances of getting into an accident or injuries occurring.
Always check the weather
Always make a point of checking the local weather conditions before you depart. Radio and TV forecasts can serve as a good source of information. If you notice some rough changing and volatile winds, darkening clouds, or sudden drops in temperature then you should play it safe and get your boat off the water immediately.
Always have pre-departure checklist
Well informed and proper boating safety does include being prepared for any eventuality while on water. You can come up with your own a pre-departure checklist or use some standard pre-departure lists which are readily available online. This checklist is usually the best way of ensuring that you have not overlooked any safety precautions or rules.
Designate an Assistant Skipper
Always ensure that at least more than one person on board is familiar with general boating safety, aspects of boat handling and other operations. This comes in handy in case the primary or main navigator is incapacitated or injured. There should be someone else who can take over the boat and navigate it safely.
Come up with a float plan
it is imperative that you come up with a plan as to where you will be headed and how long you will be out there. This plan should then be shared with people who will be off-shore; it can be family members or staff members at your local marina. Once you have made the float plan, make a point of sticking to it and if you deviate for one reason or the other, let it be known. Your float plan should include your names, addresses, phone numbers, trip itinerary, boat type and registration information and the types of signal and other communication equipment on board.
It is a fact that a majority of drowning victims in boating accidents usually die because they don’t wear their lifejackets. It is important to assign and fit every passenger on board with a life jacket before departure and ensure it is worn during the trip.
Take swimming lessons
If you are going to be in and around large expanses of water then it is only fair for you to know how to survive in that environment by learning how to swim. There are numerous organizations and groups which offer such training for virtually all ages.
Consider having a free vessel safety check
The US coast guard does offer complimentary boat examinations so as to verify the condition of presence of certain safety equipment which may be required by both federal and state regulations. At no charge, they will provide a specialist who will check your boat and make helpful tips and recommendations. They also provide online safety checks.
Use your Common sense
There are certain things which you will not find written anywhere but rather require some common sense. This usually includes things such as operating at safe speeds, especially so if the area is crowded, steering clear of large vessels at all times. It is also important to respect navigational aids such as buoys which have been placed around the water to ensure safety. Always stay alert when navigating your boat, even if there are no boats in the vicinity.
Take a boating course
Most states and the Coast guard Auxiliary in particular do offer a wide variety of courses which are targeted at recreational boaters. Take your time and sign up for a course and get to learn about life saving navigation rules, basics such as the effect of wind on your boat and how to check on the weather or water levels. These basic teachings don’t cost that much but they can for a fact save your life
For boating safety training purposes, here are some sites worth giving a look;
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