Whether you use your boat for skiing, boating adventures, or fishing, it is best to observe safety measures. Water accidents are fatal, and help may not be too close. Get a boating course to cover all the necessary safety measures.
Have a Safety Kit on Hand
You can’t forecast an emergency. Make sure your boat has a safety kit on board. Carry a flashlight to help you see in the dark, duct tape to seal a hole temporarily, a first aid box, and a whistle to signal for help. In addition, keep a fire extinguisher where anyone on board can see it.
Wear the Right Life Jackets
Life jackets are used to keep a person afloat in the event of a boat capsizing. It is designed to keep an unconscious person facing up and prevent hypothermia. Therefore, ensure you board a boat wearing a life jacket approved by the United States Coast Guard. Also, the jackets should be well fitted for your height and weight.
Examine Your Vessel
Just like other machinery, boats require regular maintenance to operate safely. Make sure your boat is checked before going on board. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary offers free vessel checks.
Carry Throwable Flotation Devices
It is important to have at least one flotation gadget onboard a boat. The common floatation gadget is a line to pull someone out of the water. You will just throw the device at someone in danger.
Drive at a Safe Speed
Boat speeding is a major cause of boat accidents. Observe the set rules and be watchful for rocks, floating debris, or traffic congestion. In addition, carry the right boat’s capacity and ensure you have the right insurance coverage. This way, the injured can get a maritime workers comp.
Check The Weather Forecast
Boating is best on warm and bright days, but you may not predict when a storm may strike. Varying winds and choppy water usually indicate signs of an approaching storm. To be safe, check the weather forecast before leaving.
Avoid Drinking on a Boat
Alcohol is a major factor in fatal boating accidents, accounting for approximately 15% of all boating deaths. Avoid drinking on a boat to stay sharp on the water. A drunk person may not act quickly in the case of an accident.
Examine for Harmful Gases
If you operate a boat, open all hatches and smell for odors after fueling the yacht. If you detect any smell, do not start the engine. Carbon dioxide can build up and affect a boat’s occupants. Mostly, gas fumes accumulate in canvas enclosures, confined spaces, and clogged exhaust vents.
Check the Boat’s Propellers
Boat propellers can injure swimmers. So, check if there’s someone near the boat before starting. Also, keep an eye on children. Don’t let them sit near the propellers where they could fall. Lastly, do not allow anyone to exit or aboard a boat when the engine is running.
Carry Sound Signaling Devices
At any time of day or night or during a foggy day, sounds can attract help. Make sure your boat has portable or fixed whistles or horns. For larger vessels, you can use a bell. Also, equip your boat with flares or visual signals for use at night and in the daytime.
Understanding the Safety Measures
According to U.S. Coast Guard research, almost 70% of boat accidents occur due to operator errors. So, make sure you understand the rules, regulations, and safety tips while onboard. Get free online courses from the Boat U.S. Foundation or boating safety courses from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Learn First Aid Tips
In a boat accident, turn off the boat and propellers. If you can swim, try to save those floating in the water. Ensure everyone is saved and ask for help to get onshore.
Most boating accidents are preventable if the boaters observe the set safety measures, such as observing the correct speed and carrying life jackets and emergency kits. In addition, boaters shouldn’t drink and operate a boat.