Spring will be here soon, and the pleasant weather and warm sun will follow. Those who own boats will likely spend a weekend or a day at the lake with friends and family.
While boating is fun and relaxing, it is also a big responsibility. Be sure to enjoy it while keeping the following safety tips in mind:
- Check the weather before you go. Save your boating for a day when the forecast is clear and warm. If you’re out on the water and the clouds start to get dark or the temperature drops suddenly, head back to safety.
- Designate an assistant. Make sure at least two people on the boat know how to operate it. If one becomes ill or incapacitated, the other can bring the rest of the boaters to shore.
- Wear life jackets. The Coast Guard reported that drowning accounted for 77 percent of all boating fatalities in 2013 (link: http://www.uscgnews.com/go/doc/4007/2160250/U-S-Coast-Guard-releases-2013-Recreational-Boating-Statistics-Report). Make sure you and all of your passengers are wearing properly fitted life jackets.
- Take a Boating Course. Boating education requirements vary, but most states require at least one boating safety course. Classes are also available online to help you prepare.
- Safety Checks. Have your boat checked at least once a year by a qualified technician, and get a vessel safety check from the United States Power Squadrons or the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.
- Save the Alcohol for Later. Alcohol doubles the chances for a boating accident (http://www.boatus.org/alcohol-and-boating/), and alcohol effects are heightened in the sun and wind. Stay safe and have a drink when you get back to dry land.
Stay safe while enjoying the boating season, the peaceful tranquility of the water, and the time together with your friends and family. If you have any questions about boating safety, insuring your boat, or insurance for your family or business, feel free to contact us.