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Boating Safety Tips to Know Before Going Out on the Water

Boating Safety Tips to Know Before Going Out on the Water

Boating is an activity enjoyed by millions of people every year. With that being said, boating safety is something a great number of those people aren't well versed in, which makes for a potentially dangerous environment on the water. Here are some proven safety tips to keep everyone safe and happy during your next boating trip.

Use Life Jackets

Life jackets are without question the most highly recommended boat safety tip, and for good reason. Of the hundreds of people who are lost each year to accidental drowning while boating, roughly 85 percent of them were not wearing life jackets during the time of their accident. Even experienced swimmers are oftentimes saved by flotation devices in conditions they'd previously thought they could withstand. Wearing a life jacket not only keeps you from drowning, but also helps you reserve energy during stressful and difficult rescue scenarios.

Have a Plan

Never go out on the water without a detailed plan for your journey. If possible, tell someone remaining on shore exactly where you're going and when you're planning to be back. An important part of planning a safe boating outing is making sure everyone in your boat is aware of general boating safety measures and how to conduct themselves in the event of a problem. The more informed everyone is, the more enjoyable and safe their time on the water will be.

Watch the Weather

Boaters should always be aware of current and future weather conditions. Any experienced boater will tell you how quickly the weather can change on a body of water, and when you're away from land during these changes, the stakes are much higher. Always have a plan for what actions you and your passengers will take in the event of severe weather. Stay alert of all local marine warnings and keep some mode of communication with you, be it a cell phone for a smaller recreational boat or a radio for a larger vessel.

Bring Emergency Essentials

Aside from life jackets, there are other important emergency essentials to keep on your boat at all times. These essentials include duct tape, flashlights, first aid kits, whistles, emergency blankets, fire extinguishers and more. Each of these items has the ability to make a dangerous situation on the water much safer and provide solutions to some of the most common issues you'll face. Keep all of these items stored safely and securely in an easily accessible, waterproof dry bag.

Understand Docking Procedures

A large percentage of boating accidents are caused by inexperienced boaters who don't understand docking procedures. Before you attempt to dock a boat, be sure you're capable of doing so, and if not, ask for assistance. Docking procedures and regulations can vary from place to place, so it's always worth looking into such information before you hit the water. The last thing you want to do is end the perfect day on the water with an accident back at the dock.

These are just a few of the most important boating safety tips you should know before going out on the water. By utilizing life jackets, having a confirmed plan, understanding docking procedures, keeping an eye on the weather and being prepared with emergency essentials, every boating trip you take will be a success.

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