Summertime is the perfect weather to take the boat out onto the lake or out for a cruise around the harbor. It is important to always pay attention to safety rules and maximum occupancy limits in order to keep you, your crew, and anyone on board the vessel safe. There are several key things to keep in mind to reduce the risk of accidents and injury while enjoying your boat outing.
Conduct a Boat Maintenance Assessment
Before you push off from the dock, always give your boat a thorough check. Look at the fittings, marine hose clamps, the oil level, the gas level, and so on to make sure nothing is in danger of failing while out on the water.
Always Wear a Life Jacket
In over 75% of fatal boating accidents, those who die are victims of drowning, with an average of 85% of victims not wearing a life jacket. It doesn’t matter how experienced you or your passengers may be. Insist that everyone wear a properly fitting life jacket. Life jackets are your best protection for surviving in a fall overboard or a sinking ship scenario.
Never Use Drugs or Alcohol While Boating
Drinking or abusing drugs while on board contributes to the potential for accident or injury while on the water. Both substances impair your ability to see and think clearly, and it can cause you to make simple errors that have drastic and devastating results.
Take a Safety Course
At least once a year, you should participate in a boating safety course. Being reminded of the most common liabilities and causes of accidents can help you stay more alert while on your own vessel. You are also in a better position to make sure those on board your vessel are also kept safe and out of harm’s way.
Boating is a fun pastime, but only when it is done safely. As the operator of a vessel, you are responsible for the well-being of any crews and passengers that sail with you.