Boat Safety Tips
Hundreds of people are killed and thousands injured each year as a result of recreational boating accidents that could easily have been prevented, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. So whether you're a seasoned skipper or a boating novice, reviewing safety tips couldn’t hurt.
Take a Course
It doesn't matter if you're just getting your feet wet in the whole boating business, or if you've been at it long enough to trade in your land legs all together. When you consider 70% of all boating accidents are caused by driver errors, it makes perfect sense to get educated and be prepared.
Plan Your Float (No Matter the Vessel)
Yacht, day cruiser, canoe or Tom Sawyer raft, one of the best ways to ensure you're rescued in an emergency is a float plan. A float plan is a document detailing the skipper and passengers' identifications, and the communication and navigation systems, distress signals, itinerary, and other details a rescue agency would need if you don't return or check-in as planned. Before you depart, give the plan to someone you trust with a plan to notify authorities at a certain point if something goes wrong.
Get a Boat Checkup
Did you know the U.S. Coast Guard will inspect your boat for free? Take advantage of their free "Vessel Safety Test" online or in person. They'll evaluate your boat in the context of State and Federal regulatory requirements, and recommend ways to make your boat safer. If your vessel passes the exam you'll even get a VSC decal to display on your boat.
Wear Your Life Jacket
When you consider that the Coast Guard estimates that 80% of boating deaths could have been prevented if the passenger was wearing a life jacket it's definitely worth the tan lines and inconvenience.