The weather is warming up and soon the boating season will be upon us. As relaxing and pleasant as a day out on the boat can be, it’s important to make sure it’s safe as well. Nothing ruins a good day like an accident that could have been easily prevented. Before the boats hit the water, consider some safety tips to make sure the day runs smoothly.
Before Getting On The Water
Sometimes the easiest way to prevent a boating accident is taking steps prior to entering the water. Start off by giving the craft and the trailer a visual inspection. Make sure to secure the boat on the trailer, make sure the tires are properly inflated, and the brakes work. After securing the boat, pack and check all safety equipment and essentials as well. Floating vests for adults, children, and even pets are vital to saving lives.
On The Water
Alright, the boats on the water and everyone is having a good time. It feels like boating season, but we want to make sure not to go overboard, literally. Alcohol and boating are a dangerous combination, with many drownings being alcohol-related. Boats are just like cars, operating while intoxicated is risky and makes the boat a danger to everyone on the water.
A hidden danger in boating is carbon monoxide build up. Similar to car engines, boat engines give off toxic carbon monoxide, so it’s vital to keep people off the back of the boat. Some states have laws prohibiting people from hanging off the back of boats after tragic deaths occurred. A carbon monoxide detector is standard on most new model boats.
It may seem silly, but having a fire extinguisher can save a boat from going up in flames. If an engine overheats it may catch fire. Having even a small extinguisher is crucial. The surrounding water may lead someone to believe a fire wouldn’t be a problem, but boats have burned down in the water before.
Nights On The Water
The water at night can be beautiful as well as it can be deceiving. Sometimes lights small boats or anchored boats may seem like lights on the shore. With limited vision, it can be difficult to navigate at night, which makes a compass and/or GPS useful. A good option is to go to familiar places only. Places familiar during the day are not so familiar at night. Just like driving at night, boating at night can be challenging especially since there is no road.
Alcohol and other distractions like loud music and obnoxious lighting can impair a driver’s ability to navigate. The driver should be sober and music should be turned down to allow for maximum focus so the night can go on.
Boating should be a pleasurable experience for everyone on the water. If everyone takes precautions we can reduce the chances of an accident, which makes boating season safe and fun. Even if something does go wrong, the right preparations can circumvent tragedy. If a tragedy does occurs, having watercraft insurance can prevent damage to your wallet as well.
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