Extreme Fishing Outfitters

Extreme Fishing Outfitters

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Boating Safety

The Best Boating Safety Tips

 

Before you take your boat out onto the water you’ll want to make sure you know how to be safe on the water.  The first part of boating safety starts before you even take your boat out of dry dock.  Practicing safety can prevent the hundreds of deaths and thousands of boat-related injuries that happen every year.

 

It’s pretty easy to remember a few boating safety tips.  These are things that will make a huge difference between being completely safe on your boating trips and accidents happening.  Teach your family and friends these tips to make sure everyone knows how to be safe.

 

The first thing you’ll need to check is personal flotation devices.  Check for weak or torn seams, straps and buckles.  Also, make sure if your PFD is equipped with an inflation device, make sure the cartridges are secure and charged.  Next, you’ll want to check your fire extinguishers by making sure that they have been checked in the last year, by a licensed organization, and that your family or friends are familiar with how to use them.  Make sure your fire extinguishers are in an accessible place and especially near the cabin or controls and the fuel tank.

 

Another pre-boating checklist item is making sure that all Coast Guard recommended safety equipment is on board. Some equipment that may or may not be on the coast guard list but are a good idea to bring along anyway is water, flares, a first aid kit, additional rescue and flotation devices, and some type of communication with the mainland. Make sure that all of your equipment is well maintained and working properly.  Also, make sure that you have enough life preservers for everyone on board.

 

Something that boaters rarely think about is Carbon Monoxide poisoning.  We think it deserves some mention here, because of its relative quickness and symptoms that bear a striking resemblance to seasickness. You can get carbon monoxide poisoning from being in canvas enclosures that aren’t properly ventilated, exhaust gas or blocked exhaust outlets, from back drafting or from carbon monoxide drifting up when the boat is idling or traveling slowly.  You can’t see, smell or taste carbon monoxide, so you’ll need to be careful around it.  Make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector with a loud audible alarm.

 

Next, consider leaving alcohol behind when you go out boating.  At the very least, have a “designated driver” or I suppose you can go with “designated boater” if you prefer.  Alcohol can mess with your decision making and is a factor in a large number of boating accidents.

 

Make sure you’re aware of where your boat tips and keep the weight even.  Small boats can capsize easily and you’ll want to make sure that you or your passengers don’t tip into the water.  Also, maintain a safe distance from water skiers, swimmers and others in the water.

 

Make sure that you know the navigation rules for your area and for your boat type.  Have a manual on board to refer to and make sure you aren’t breaking any rules of the body of water you’re boating in.  Also, make sure you operate at a safe speed, and keep a lookout as swimmers can surface fast.

 

Whether you are boating in salt water or fresh water, don’t drink it. Salt water isn’t drinkable  Make sure you have an alternative water source, such as a jug or bottles of water.  Also, if you smoke, make sure you don’t light up while fueling your boat.

 

When you go out in your boat, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back.  If you get off course somehow, or have some sort of accident, at least someone will know when you don’t return on time and the general area to send help.  Also, make sure if you are telling someone where you will be, that you try to stay in that general location.

 

Consider taking a boating safety course before you take your boat out.  There are many things to know about boating safety, and we can only cover the most basic in this article.  A boating safety course can give you comprehensive information on the things you need to know to practice good safety whenever you are out on the water.

 

The main thing that will help you as far as boating safety is experience.  Knowing what can go wrong, and how to avoid mishaps when it does is a major factor in avoiding injury and accidents.