As the weather warms, many families anticipate that first day on the lake, when they can float on the waves and soak up the sun. But, like most activities, boating can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. So, as Safe Boating Week approaches, we’re offering a few boat safety tips to help you care for yourself and your family on the water.
Take a boating course.
Attend a class before piloting a vessel so you know the rules, regulations, and boat safety guidelines to follow.
Maintain your boat.
Keep all equipment onboard in working order and develop a pre-launch checklist to examine your gear before leaving the marina. Also, frequently inspect fuel hoses and containers and all wiring because they can start fires. It’s a good idea to keep fire extinguishers on deck, as well.
Choose your marina carefully.
Find one equipped with surveillance cameras, fire extinguishers, standpipes, adequate lighting, and security measures. You also need to ensure it has enough power voltage to accommodate your boat.
Never swim in the marina.
Marinas are high-traffic areas where boaters won’t always notice people in the water. That makes it a hazardous place to swim.
Watch the weather.
You never want to get caught on the water during a nasty storm. So, prioritize boat safety by watching your local weather forecast and understanding what conditions you might face.
Make sure every passenger wears a lifejacket.
Personal flotation devices are your number one defense against drowning, so enforce their use—especially for children under 16.
Watch out for carbon dioxide poisoning.
Keep the entire boat well-ventilated and educate your passengers on the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Use an idle speed when maneuvering through the marina, and get your bumpers, mooring lines, and hooks ready before you dock. Don’t leave the boat until you’ve come to a complete stop, and then, tie the rope holding the vessel against the wind first.