Best 2022 Boating Safety Guide
A good boat safety guide can help save your life and the lives of your family, friends, and loved ones. Understand the boating safety tips that a boat safety guide can offer. Boating can be a lot of fun and is a great recreational activity that helps families and friends enjoy nature and spend time with each other. Think safety first when planning and you’ll have a successful adventure.
While actual laws and regulations can vary from state to state, the National Safe Boating Council advocates for the “Wear It” program, which encourages boaters to wear a life jacket any time they are aboard a vessel.
The statistics in 2017 reported 76% of those who died in boating accidents were a result of drowning, and 84% of them were not wearing life jackets. Even good swimmers can benefit from wearing a life jacket. Accidents happen and having a life jacket on can save a life. Children should wear a life jacket at all times when boating.
The National Association of Boating Law suggests everyone should take a boating safety course. It can’t hurt; it can only help. Even if you think you know all the rules, the course can help serve as a good reminder.
You should also be well aware of the boating laws in the state you are operating your boat. You should also know about carbon monoxide, as it is an odorless, yet poisonous, gas that gets emitted from all combustible engines and onboard motor generators.
Always, check and double-check your boat’s equipment before you head out onto the water. If you have any doubts about the safety of your equipment, a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary unit can provide a safety check of your boat.
Always tell someone who isn’t going to be on the boat where you’re going and when you should be back in case of an emergency. Dress properly (no high heels or slick-soled shoes) and bring an extra set of clothing should you get wet. Bring sunscreen to protect yourself and know the signs of dehydration and heat sickness.
Practice Good Judgement
Leave the alcohol at home; don’t bring it on the boat. Drinking and driving don’t mix, and that includes boats. Alcohol can impair judgment, balance, coordination, and vision. Watch the weather patterns; weather can change in an instant. Pay attention to the skies and your surroundings. If you see a storm coming or sense an unsafe environment, get off the water.
Safety Tips for Those You Pull Behind Your Boat
Wakeboarding, tubing, and water skiing are all fun, but they can all be done at high speeds, which can make the activity dangerous. Ensure anyone you are pulling behind your boat understands and is able to, how to hold onto a tow rope and get out of the water safely.
Always designate a person in the boat to “spot,” “watch,” or “keep an eye on” the person being pulled and go over basic hand signals before going out on the water. Only enjoy these activities during the daylight because, at night, things can become even more dangerous for a variety of reasons.
Laws and Regulations
While laws vary among the states, in the State of Florida:
- All residents born after January 1, 1988, must have with them a Florida Boating Safety Education Identification Card if operating a 10 hp powered watercraft or greater.
- All those aged six years and under have to wear a life jacket/personal flotation device.
- To operate a Personal Watercraft (PWC), one must be at least 14 years old.
- Trailers carrying boats must be registered and titled.
We hope this boating safety guide helps you before you head out onto the water. But it’s good to refresh your memory about boating safety tips frequently. Doing so can make your day more enjoyable and perhaps even save a life.
For more on boating, boating safety, and all things docks, check out our other pages, or reach out to us today!
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