Maritime News & Info

5 Boating Safety Tips for National Safe Boating Week

istock_000003745723xsmallIt’s National Safe Boating Week – what will you do to celebrate?

Okay, so maybe you’re not planning a real celebration, but there are things you can do to keep yourself safe for this week and the upcoming summer season. Here are some easy ways to get responsible:

1. Wear your life jacket every time you’re on the water. For strong swimmers, this one may seem unnecessary, but the reality is that accidents can happen to anyone. When a person is knocked overboard unexpectedly, they can flail and tire easily. That’s when a life jacket comes in handy. Kids, especially, should always heed this advice. Three fourths of fatal boating accidents were drownings, and 85 percent of those victims were not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.

2. Sober drivers are just as necessary at sea as they are on land. A day on the water can make a person thirsty, but make sure you’re reaching for a bottle of water, not beer, while at the helm. You wouldn’t drive a car after drinking, so why is a boat any different?

3. Prep your boat. Your boat needs outfitted for the water, just like you do. But did you know the U.S. Coast Guard offers free Vessel Safety Checks? Treat yourself to some expert opinions this boating safety week!

4. Be smart about weather. Even the most seasoned boater can get caught by a surprise summer thunderstorm. Be smart and check the forecast before heading out.

5. Stay in touch. Never boat without telling a friend where you’re headed, and have multiple ways to keep in touch while out on the water. A cell phone, satellite phone and personal locator beacons can all come in handy in the worst case scenario.

There’s no better way to stay safe than to be proactive. Do your homework before getting on the water this summer, and protect yourself and your loved ones.