Boating Tips To Keep You Safe On The Water
Warm weather is here, which means so is boating season. Whether you’re planning to sail to sea or anchor in a riverbed, there are necessary precautions every boat operator must take to stay out of harm’s way on the water. Below are boating tips and safety measures to help ensure everyone on board returns to land safe and sound.
At the start of the season or if you’re new to boating, the first step should be to review all boating safety course rules, traffic laws and any regulation specific to the region. Receiving and reviewing such pertinent information can be fundamental in avoiding an accident or even a death. In fact, 77% of boating deaths in 2020 occurred on vessels where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction.
Preparation on the day of the outing covers many aspects of boat ownership. First, check the weather to see if it will be optimal. If there are forecast storms, avoid venturing out for that day. Next, review who will be with you, where the destination is and when everyone expects to return. This information is valuable in the event something goes wrong and the proper authorities need to be alerted for a rescue.
Similarly, check all onboard safety equipment to assure it is operational. Such gear could include a first-aid kit, flashlights, audio distress signals, fire extinguishers, fitted life jackets and more. Speaking of life jackets, every member of the party needs to have a fitted life jacket without exception. In 2020, drowning was the leading known cause of death in fatal boating accident victims. Of those victims, approximately 86% were not wearing a life jacket.
Once these affairs are in order, perform any necessary boat maintenance. Begin by inspecting all the engine components and fuel lines as well as checking the propeller for trapped debris or damage. Of the more than 5,265 accidents reported in 2020, 247 involved at least one person being struck by a propeller.
The top five primary contributing factors in the accidents were operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed and machinery failure. When the accident proved fatal, alcohol was a top factor. Alcohol consumption before and during boating is extremely dangerous, as its judgment-impairing effects can be intensified by aspects of being on the water.
All in all, it’s essential to stay vigilant and take preparation seriously before every trip. Boat owners and operators must give their full attention from the moment of shoving off until the boat has been anchored safely. Make the most of every trip by guaranteeing everyone aboard has a life jacket, stays hydrated and follows boating etiquette as they soak up the sun and ride the waves.
For further information and safety tips, please see the accompanying resource by Veteran Car Donations.
Thank you to Veteran Car Donations for writing this post.