Many people love to spend a day out on the water. Some prefer to race around in a speedboat, while others enjoy drifting along and just relaxing. Whether you like to relax, fish or feel the adrenalin of going super fast, being on the water can be dangerous if you aren’t careful. Here are some tips to stay safe on the water.
Make sure that you have life jackets (and they are readily available).
The truth is that life jackets do save lives. In fact, the Coast Guard believes that over eighty per cent of deaths could have been prevented, just by wearing a life jacket.
Though most people don’t do it, you should be wearing your life jacket the entire time that you are on a boat. They aren’t going to save you if you fall into the water when they are tucked under the seat.
Keep your boat stocked with safety equipment.
At the very least, your boat should carry a full first-aid kit, along with some tools. You should have a horn, whistle, or flares to attract attention if you need help. Every boat needs to have a fire extinguisher in case of a fire. You may want to have some extra dock line and floatation devices too. A radio is also necessary so that you can call for help if you need it.
Take a boating safety course.
Just like driving, it is important that you understand how to control a boat, as well as the rules for the water. If you haven’t taken one in a while, it never hurts to take a refresher course so that you know how to handle yourself while you are out trying to have fun.
Take care of yourself.
Between the waves, wind, and sun, being out on the boat can be exhausting. You can quickly dehydrate and overheat, causing heat emergencies.
Make sure that, no matter how long you are planning on being in the water, you are prepared with plenty of water and food. Take plenty of sunscreen.
You may also want to find a way to get out of the sun if you need to. If your boat has a canopy or a lower level, you can get out of the sun that way. If not, you may want to take a wind jacket or towels to cover yourself up a little bit.
Don’t drink and drive (a boat).
Just like you shouldn’t get behind the wheel when you have had anything to drink, the same rule applies for a boat. Between the waves, sun, and alcohol, you may be unable to think clearly enough to get yourself and your boat around safely. You owe it to yourself, your passengers, and the others out on the water to be sober.
Stay safe on your boat
Safety should be one of the first things that you consider when taking out a boat. You need to have enough life jackets so that everyone can wear one that fits properly. You should wear them at all times, to be as safe as possible. You also need to stock your boat with emergency supplies, including a first aid kit, horn, flares, water, food and sunscreen. You should also never leave without a radio and a fire extinguisher. Make sure your time on the water is enjoyable by following our quick safety tips!
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