Whether you’re an experienced navigator or a casual boater, it’s very important for everyone on board to review boat safety practices before setting sail. Being in the water is one of the most relaxing and revitalizing experiences you’ll have but in order to make this journey safe and enjoyable, it’s a must for everyone to review these tips before leaving the dock.
Take a safety course
According to the Coast Guard, you greatly reduce the risk of getting into a boating accident if the captain received boat safety training. These safety courses are vital for any new boater and they’re affordable. It’s possible to do them online as well. You learn all the techniques for using your boat safely and properly so it’s the first thing you should do before you sail with friends and family.
Use the free Coast Guard safety check
There’s a safety checklist provided by the U.S. Coast Guard that’s available online, you can print the list and use it as a guide to inspecting your own boat before setting sail. Also, you can schedule an inspection by a Coast Guard official free of charge. The inspection is to review the safety equipment you have on board, to check the conditions of your boat, and to answer any doubts and questions you may have about boat safety. It’s a great way to ensure you’re not forgetting anything important.
Lifejackets are lifesaving
Even if everyone in the boat can swim, it’s vital for everyone on board to have lifejackets. The sole purpose of personal floatation devices is to keep you from drowning. If something bad were to happen to your boat, you won’t have time to find a lifejacket and put it on. For this reason, it’s essential to put them on before you start your journey.
Make sure everyone is informed
Everyone on the boat should be informed on the basics of boat safety. Communication is key and the best way to avoid a tragic accident is to make sure everyone is empowered with knowledge.
It’s important to use common sense, the same way you shouldn’t drink and drive on the road, you definitely shouldn’t drink and boat. You have to stay alert at all times and alcohol can decrease your coordination and judgment.
Check the weather
Knowledge is power! It’s easier to navigate if you checked the weather beforehand. You’re better prepared to deal with the waters and you’ll know how to deal with strong winds and big waves.
Check out the United States Coast Guard Boat Safety Division website to have more information about safe boating.