It is important to keep boating safety tips in mind when you are on the water. Whether you are a seasoned veteran or just beginning to take the plunge, it is always wise to be prepared. Boating accidents can occur quickly. Following these simple guidelines can help you protect yourself and your loved ones.
One of the top causes of boating accidents is human error. Alcohol can be a leading contributor to these incidents. The USCG urges boaters to avoid drinking alcohol and keep a safe distance from other vessels. If you must drink, make sure you are well-hydrated.
Before you go out on the water, check the weather conditions. Also check the forecast for your destination. You should also bring a flashlight, extra batteries, a first aid kit and flares.
In addition to checking the weather, you should also review nautical charts and keep an eye out for navigation hazards. Make sure to keep your wake low, avoid swimming zones, and stay aware of the propellers.
It is also a good idea to bring extra PFDs and floaties for kids. Check your water temperature and dress accordingly.
Before leaving the dock, you should test your lights and other equipment. The Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free vessel safety checks.
Ensure that you and your passengers know where you are going and how to get there. Always wear a life jacket and take a few swimming lessons if you are not a seasoned boater.