Nothing beats enjoying a whole day on the water with your friends and relatives. Just remember to keep safety at the top of the priority list.
Check out these crucial boating safety guidelines, which include everything from essential safety gear to how to securely handle a boat:
- Have boat safety gear at hand.
- Flashlight: If you are short of gasoline or your craft stalls, a flashlight and additional batteries can aid you to see around your boat in darkness and give you a great chance to be noticed.
- Mirror: A mirror can also be used to call for assistance.
- Whistle: Another essential item is a waterproof whistle, which serves as a recognized signal for assistance on the water.
- Duct tape: Do you have a leak? Duct tape will be very useful to block the hole for the time being.
- Bucket: Regardless of the fact that the boat isn't leaking, water can still get inside. You can use a bucket to reduce the volume of water in the boat.
- Ropes: These are essential for restraining a person who has gone overboard, attaching your ship to the pier, and securing loose goods in bad weather.
- First aid Kit: In the event of a minor accident or medical emergency, having a well-equipped first aid kit as well as knowing how to utilize it is critical.
- Life jackets: Each person on board must have a United States Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
- Fire extinguisher: The fact that you are on the water doesn't rule out the possibility of a fire outbreak on board. All passengers need to be aware of where the fire extinguisher is located and how it is used.
There is no way you can easily predict when an emergency may occur, so, be ready for anything. Regardless of the size of your boat, there is a need for you to keep your boat safety gear on board.
The following are some critical items to include in your safety kit.
- Make sure you have the necessary life jackets.
Life jackets are useful for more than just keeping you afloat. Most of them are made to face up an unconscious individual and also prevent hypothermia. Every individual on board should have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, according to the legislation.
In some states, it is mandatory for children to also put on life jackets every time.
Go for a life jacket that is appropriate for your weight and height, as well as the following:
- Before you buy anything, try it on. Secure the vest and have someone who will help you to carefully lift the arm opening top to ensure it fits accurately.
- Inflatable life jackets, both automatic and manual, can help to keep the face of an unconscious wearer up, but they must be maintained on a regular basis. They are really not suitable for children under the age of 16.
- In case if you are going fishing, choose a life jacket with pockets so you can carry your hook and equipment conveniently.
There are several different types of life jackets available. Please ensure it's suitable for your on-water activity before you buy it.
- Check the weather forecast ahead of time.
Boating is best on warm, bright days, but you never know when a storm will strike. An upcoming storm is indicated by varying wind gusts and choppy sea. Even if it's a balmy spring day, the water may represent winter temperatures. If your boat sinks or you and your crew become wet, ensure you have a strategy in place to ask for assistance and get dry.
- The boat should not be overloaded with passengers or gear.
Always stick to the capacity limits of your boat. Loading your boat beyond limits with passengers or equipment might cause it to become unbalanced.
- Look for toxic fumes.
- Poorly ventilated canvas enclosure
- Enclosed compartments
- Blocked exhaust exits
- Nearby boats
Open the hatches and check for fumes after refueling your boat. If any fumes are detected, do not start the engine.
Carbon monoxide can build up all the way around your boat, knocking you or your passengers out abruptly. Be mindful of all potential sources of fumes and gases, such as:
- It is necessary to use common sense on the water.
The rules of the water are similar to the rules of the road.
It's critical to apply common sense when operating a boat, such as staying vigilant throughout the trip, driving at a safe speed, and guaranteeing that passengers stay safely within the railings of the boat.
- Use correct anchoring techniques.
It's not enough to have the correct anchor. You might have to drop two anchors in a V-formation at the bow of the boat to keep it from drifting if the wind is dragging it. There might be a need for you to drop your anchor in deeper water to help prevent it from being lifted by the tide.
- Stick to the docking procedures.
Docking can be difficult depending on the wind, tide, and type of boat.
As you get closer to the dock, please ensure your bumpers are out to avoid an unnecessary form of destruction to your boat, reduce the level of your speed, and secure your docking lines.
- Enroll in a boating safety class.
Make sure you understand the rules and your duties before leaving the pier. A selection of online and hands-on boating safety courses is available from the US Coast Guard. Powerboating in-person classes are also available here at SaferBoating.org.
- Have your boat inspected.
Accidents can occur no matter how well you plan to protect yourself, your passenger, and your boat.
Water accidents can be avoided if proper boat safety tips are followed. You can make use of the safety tips above; it will go a long way in preventing an accident.