As the weather warms up, cabin fever can become unbearable. You probably can’t wait to get out on the water. When you do, it is important to keep the following in mind to help ensure a safe boating season.
Steps to ensure boating safety
- Do not drink and boat: This may seem like obvious advice, but it can be easy to give in to the temptation to have a few when you are out enjoying the summer weather. The fact is, alcohol is responsible for 16% of all fatal boat accidents. Also, it is illegal to operate a motorized or nonmotorized boat if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over the legal limit of .08.
- Keep your boat maintained: It’s essential to ensure your boat is in good working order before taking it out on the water, especially if you have passengers on board. If a poorly maintained boat leads to a serious injury, you could find yourself facing a lawsuit.
- Understand the personal flotation devices (PFD) law: While you may not be required to wear a PFD, you are required to have a PFD, such as a life jacket, available for every passenger onboard your vessel. In addition, PFDs are required in most situations for children under the age of 12.
- Know what to do in case of an emergency: Don’t wait for a crisis to figure out what you should do. Make sure your safety equipment is in working order and take the time to understand how to use your safety equipment. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” certainly applies in this context.
- Keep an eye on the weather: Safety and communications technology can provide a false sense of security. Pay close attention to weather forecasts and be prepared to head to shore if things look unsettled.
You can still have fun and be safe
It can be easy to overlook the danger of boating. However, by following the above tips, you can help ensure a fun yet safe time for yourself and your passengers.