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Boating Safety Tips

Updated on March 14, 2014

Water Safety

Everyone who spends time in a boat on the water, needs to learn boating safety before getting on any type of watercraft. It doesn't matter if someone is a novice or a pro at boating, knowing the proper safety equipment to keep aboard and how to use it in case of an emergency is the first important lesson to be learned.

Basic boating safety is important for everyone who rides in a boat and should be taught to anyone who boards a watercraft. Each rider needs to know where any safety equipment is kept and how to use it.  

Check the Weather Forecast

Boating can be a lot of fun for everyone, yet safety must be taken seriously. A variety of boating adventures are available all across the country, yet be sure to take any necessary precautions to keep all passengers safe while having fun.

Inclimate weather is something to take into account before setting sail. Check the local forecast for the area. Radio and television can help keep you up to date on any warning signs of an approaching storm (dark clouds, rough seas, and drops in water temperature), should be watched with caution.

Safety Equipment

To help ensure that all of the proper equipment needed is on board, make a check-list.need. Be familiar with the route that will be taken, and be filled with fuel and have a reserve tank available. Have plenty of food and water available for each passenger on board, and check the ramp to assure that it is in good working condition. Make sure all equipment is in proper working order.

Some safety equipment is required by law, and must be present on pleasure crafts at all times. Be sure to equip your boat with all of the proper gear. Some of the safety equipment to include in a kit could consist of the following: torch, radio, mirror, rope, knife, first aid kit, fire extinguisher, life jackets, drinking water, compass, chart, anchors, chain, oars, flares, boat hook, buoyancy aids, bailer, and an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB).

Tell Someone Your Navigational Plans

Follow all of the rules of the water. Operate your boat at a safe speed. Stay away from large vessels and be cautious of busy areas, and pay attention to any buoys in the water which are there to help enforce boating safety. It is best for at least two passengers to be familiar with all of the rules of the water and how to properly handle the boat. In the event of an emergency it is best to have more than one person who can safely navigate a boat under any given situation.

Let someone on land know your navigational plans, and how long you plan on being on the water. If you do not have family available, you can leave your float plans with a member of the marina staff. In your plan be sure to Include the names, phone numbers, and addresses of each passenger and the boat captain. Include the make, model, and registration information of the boat's communication equipment. Include a detailed itinerary as well.By taking these simple safety precautions,boating can be enjoyed with friends and family.


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    • Tom Schumacher profile image

      Tom Schumacher 4 years ago from Huntington Beach, CA

      Nice hub. Too often I notice people overlook basic boating safety precautions. Unfortunately, when problems occur they usually happen fast and without forewarning. Thanks for the tips!