We should know boat safety for a number of reasons. First, it is crucial to know how to safely operate a boat in order to avoid accidents. Second, understanding boat safety can help us protect our investment and enjoy our time on the water more. Finally, learning about boat safety can help us be better prepared in the event of an emergency situation.
As the old saying goes, “two is better than one”. This couldn’t be more true when it comes to boat safety. By following these eight essential boat safety tips, you and your family can enjoy a safe and fun day out on the water.
1. Wear a life jacket
Wearing a life jacket is the most important thing you can do to stay safe while boating. Life jackets provide flotation and help keep your head above water if you fall overboard. Be sure to choose a life jacket that fits properly and is appropriate for your activity.
2. Stay sober
Alcohol and drugs impair your judgment, coordination, and balance. They also make it harder to swim if you fall into the water. So, if you’re boating, be sure to stay sober.
3. Use a kill switch
A kill switch is a vital piece of safety equipment that shuts off the engine if you fall overboard. Be sure to attach the kill switch lanyard to your life jacket or your body so that it will activate if you go into the water.
4. Check the weather forecast
Before heading out on the water, be sure to check the local weather forecast. If thunderstorms are expected, it’s best to stay ashore.
5. Know your boat
Be familiar with your boat and how it handles. Make sure you know where all the controls are located and what they do. Practice driving your boat in open water before taking it out in crowded areas.
6. Have a float plan
Before heading out, let someone ashore know your float plan. This should include the route you’ll be taking, the expected return time, and the names of all those who are on board.
7. Check your equipment
Before heading out, be sure to check your boat and all of its equipment for any damage or wear. This includes the hull, engines, steering, lights, and signals. Also, check the life jackets to be sure they’re in good condition and fit properly.
8. Be aware of other boats
When boating, always be aware of other boats around you. Be sure to stay clear of larger boats and avoid wakes from passing boats. Also, be aware of skiers and other people in the water.
By following these eight essential boat safety tips, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable day out on the water.