Whether you have bought a boat, or plan to hire one for the summer, a boat trip can be a lot of fun. Boats can be a relaxing way to explore your local area, or a high-speed thrill adventure, depending on what kind of boat you have. However, there are lots of potential dangers and even a risk of accidental death that comes with boats and can affect even the most experienced boater, in any body of water, regardless of the size or location. So before you cast off in your boat, keep these safety tips in mind to stay safe while you’re out on the water. They might save your life.
Wear A Life Jacket
Whether or not you plan on going in the water, you need to wear a life jacket. The most common cause of fatalities that are associated with boating are caused by drowning. Every single person on board the boat, including any children, ought to be wearing a life jacket. Wearing the life jacket at all times on board gives the best level of protection.
Learn Survival Skills
Make sure that all children that you have onboard are able to swim, just in case of accidental falls into the water. Take a boating safety class with the whole family so everyone can stay safe and will know what to do in an emergency. This knowledge could save someone’s life in the event of an accident. Never leave your children unsupervised on the boat or anywhere near the water. If you do have an accident, it can help to have the number of a good boat accident attorney.
Pack Safety Equipment
Make sure you have a fire extinguisher, first-aid kit, flashlight, and an air horn on board to use for signaling. It’s also a good idea to take a phone or marine radio, depending on where you will be, so you can communicate in an emergency.
Plan Your Route
Plan out an itinerary and share it with someone who won’t be coming on the trip. Tell that person where you will be going and when you expect to be back. This means that they can help to direct rescuers to the right place quickly if you don’t come back on time.
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Watch The Weather
Wind can soon kick up rough water, which can be very dangerous to a small boat. Lightning is also a risk to an open boat that is left exposed on the water. Check the forecast for the day you plan to head out, and delay your trip if the weather looks like it could turn dangerous. Have a plan to get to shelter if a sunny day turns nasty.
Be Smart About Alcohol
Have a designated driver for the boat on board. If you’re drinking on a hot day, remember that alcohol can cause you to dehydrate a lot more quickly in the hot sun. Drink plenty of water as well, and don’t be tempted to swim or dive after drinking.
Look Before You Leap
Jumping from a boat can lead to injury if you’ve not noticed an underwater obstruction. Before you jump, be sure there’s nothing under the water. Jump feet first to avoid injuries to your head and neck.