Boating safety is key to making each trip a positive one and preventing injuries. No drugs should be used, and safety gear must always be present and accessible. Constant monitoring of the weather is also necessary, as is informing someone of the destination of a trip. Do not overload boats and always respect to any rules or regulations that apply.
Drugs and alcohol should never be used by anyone upon a boat. This is because the effects of these is greatly strengthened while on the water. Wind, sun exposure, vibration, glare, and noise while can greatly strengthen their impact. In 2008, thirty-five percent of boating deaths were related to substance abuse. Twenty percent of all accidents were as well.
The correct safety equipment needs to be on board always and routinely maintained. Every individual should wear a life jacket that correctly fits. Fire extinguishers are crucial for safety, particularly in boats that have closing compartments or any false doors. Always check that it is charged and within easy access.
Boat lights must be checked and extra batteries stored on board. Emergency supply kits are also necessary. These must include flares, maps, first aid kits, and floating pouches. Anchor inspection needs to proceed each trip and someone must know how it is properly used. If not done properly anchoring can cause fatalities.
Problems may be caused by unfriendly weather. For this reason, a close eye should always be kept on the weather. Make sure there is radio access to warn of any incoming problems. Danger signs include shifts in the winds, flashes of lightning, and rough water. When bad weather is known to be coming, get off the water as soon as possible. Doing so will also minimize the time spent waiting in line for other water craft. There is also a risk, if water is very cold, of catching hypothermia.
In case of unforeseen circumstances, always notify someone of the destination of a trip and the planned time of return. After refueling and before departing open all hatches. Smell for the presence of fumes before the engine is started. If there are fumes present the engine must not be turned on.
Check the destination area for any regulations that may be in place. There could be additional requirements not in place from the originating area. Always keep registration current and on the boat and make sure the boat has a sticker displayed for the correct year.
Never overload boats. Its listed maximum capacity should never be exceeded. After loading, make sure launching is done as smoothly as possible. All covers and straps should be removed before getting in line. Equipment should be inside before reaching the ramp. Double check the gear to make sure it works correctly and is plugged in. Have someone on the pier holding the line and helping with boat handling while waiting in line for a launch.
Boating safety is crucial for everyone on board. This includes not doing drugs before a launch, having necessary equipment on board, and paying attention to the weather. All rules and regulations must be followed at all times and boats must never be overloaded past capacity.
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