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Safe Boating Week: Boating Safety Tips

May 18 – 24 is Safe Boating Week! This week is designed to promote boating and life jacket safety to boaters everywhere. With summer approaching, and Memorial Day just around the corner, boating will be an activity that millions of people will be partaking in everywhere. It is imperative to not only educate yourself on boating safety rules but to also ensure that you are following them while out on the water. Listed below are basic boating safety tips to help you, your family, and your friends stay safe.

Follow a Pre-Departure Checklist:

Before you set out on the water, be prepared for anything that may happen. Important things to have in your boat before departing are life jackets for every passenger, working navigation lights, sound producing devices, distress signals, tools, spares, fuel, oil, and fire extinguishers.

Develop a Float Plan:

Be sure to let someone know of your plans, whether that be a family member or a staff member at your local marina. A float plan should include the following information:

  • Where you are going and how long you will be gone
  • Name, address, and phone number of the trip leader
  • Name and phone number of all passengers
  • Boat type and registration information
  • Types of communication and signal equipment onboard

Designate an Assistant Skipper

Ensure that one other person on board is familiar with your boat and how it operates. If the primary navigator becomes injured or incapacitated, it is important to have another individual that would be able to take over.

Use Lifejackets Properly

Majority of drowning victims are the result of boaters not wearing lifejackets. To avoid this from happening to you or anyone boating with you, make sure each individual on the boat has a life jacket that fits them properly before departing. Regardless of your swimming experience, wear it!

Use Common Sense

This may be an obvious tip, however, it is imperative to use your common sense no matter if you are operating the boat or just a passenger. This means operating at safe speeds at all times, respecting buoys, and not consuming alcohol while operating the boat. Without using your common sense, many individuals safety will be put at risk.

Although boating provides great fun, you must take specific safety measures to keep everyone safe while on the water. By following the tips above, you are more likely to have a safe, enjoyable experience while boating.