With the coming weekend just around the corner and Labor Day not far behind, we thought we would once again remind all boaters of some boating safety tips. These should, by this time, be branded in your subconcious. However, just in case you are getting to be a “seasoned citizen” such as myself or your “rememberer” at times does not always work that well, we thought we would once again just remind all boaters of some boating safety tips. “Or did I say that already?”
Boat and watercraft safety can not only save one’s life, but will create a safer environment for other boaters on the water. Regardless of experience level, it is always a good idea to refresh one’s memory regarding boat safety tips.
Whether your headed off shore, leisurely cruising on inland waters or spending the day at the lake or river, when it comes to boat safety, it is always a good idea to create a pre-departure safety checklist , ensuring that everything is in order before heading out. To refresh your memory about all aspects concerning boating safety go to BoatSafe.com. In the meantime, follow these five simple tips before departing:
1. Check the weather. Assess weather conditions before heading out but if you notice an abrupt change in the weather, play it safe and get off the water.
2. Designate a skipper. There should always be at least one other person that can operate the boat or is familiar with handling the boat should the captain be injured or incapacitated in any way.
3. Develop a float plan. Inform someone, a family member or staff at your marina, where you are going and how long you plan to be out. Also, alert marina staff to the type of communication equipment you have onboard.
4. Use proper lifejackets. A lifejacket can save someone’s life if they are suddenly thrown overboard. Every passenger onboard should have a lifejacket that fits properly and is in good serviceable condition.
5. Go through a pre-departure checklist. Every captain should have a pre-departure checklist they go through. This will ensure that you don’t miss any steps before you depart. This can include checking supplies, vessel safety checks and making sure you have everything you need before you get out on the water.
As the captain of the boat, avoid alcohol while operating any watercraft. Just as an operator would not drink and drive a car, one should never consume alcohol while operating or before operating watercraft. Also, determine the swimming ability of the passengers aboard before you depart. If anyone goes overboard, it’s important to be aware of whether or not they know how to swim. You should also have a plan on how to rescue them immediately.