Boating Safety Tips .. Boating weather is Coming (finally!)
With the summer season heating up, many people will hit the water with their boats to fish, swim or just catch some rays. It’s important to remember boating safety and responsibility when you’re riding the waves. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 70 percent of all boating accidents are the result of operator error.
Wear a life jacket. A life jacket should be available for each person aboard and properly stowed. Jackets should fit snugly and be the appropriate size, adult jackets will not work for children. Test jackets once a year for wear and buoyancy and toss the ones that are waterlogged or leaky.
Know the rules. The nautical “rules of the road” are critical, especially when meeting, crossing or overtaking another boat. Maintaining a safe speed and keeping a watchful eye on the waters also help to guarantee smooth sailing.
Be aware of carbon monoxide. All boat engines produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless and poisonous gas. Poor cabin ventilation and faulty equipment can contribute to the problem, but carbon monoxide emissions can even affect you on your boat’s swim platform and other areas near the engine where gases could build up. Install carbon monoxide detectors on your boat and be aware of the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, such as headaches, nausea, weakness and irritated eyes.
Get your boat inspected. If you’re not sure your boat is safe, register your boat for a Vessel Safety Check (VSC). A VSC is a free examination of your boat courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to verify the presence and condition of all required safety equipment.
Take a boating safety course. Boating safety courses are quick, inexpensive and effective. Check the U.S. Coast Guard site for approved boating courses.
Read more about Vessel Safety Checks on the Learning Center.