It’s summer vacation time and a lot of families and boating enthusiasts will be hitting the water.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe when you are on the water.
- Check the weather forecast. Be prepared for high winds, the sun and other elements, and be aware that conditions can change rapidly.
- Don’t forget to stay hydrated. Bring plenty of drinkable water.
- Be sure to check your equipment. Be sure to have what you need and that everything is working properly.
- Be sure you have the proper permits, a fire extinguisher and easily accessible life jackets. Complete a float plan before you leave by letting someone who is staying shoreside know where you are going and launching from, how you plan to get there and approximately when you are leaving and plan to return. Float plans are critical in the event of an emergency and will give search and rescue crews a huge advantage in where to begin.
- Complete safety checks before you launch.
- Be patient at boat ramps and launch sites, and follow all posted signs.
While on the water
- Designate a sober captain, as well. It’s important to know that alcohol impairments affect the body differently while on the water and you may feel its effects faster than you do when drinking on land.
- Don’t forget: Boating while intoxicated is illegal.
- Remember, just like drivers, share the road; boaters share the water and its resources.
- Be cautious and reduce speeds near other vessels while on the water.
- Keep an eye out for other people on the water such as kayakers, paddle boarders and swimmers.
- Always look for dive flags to help keep snorkelers and divers safe when below the surface, too.
- Be vigilant of wildlife, and give animals plenty of space.
Published July 19, 2023