Getting out on the water, whether in a dam or in the ocean, is a lot of fun. You get far away from the cares of the world. But if you ignore the basic principles of boating safety your idyllic trip could end up becoming a disaster fast.
In this post, we at Find More Outdoors will teach you the five most important water safety tips.
Always Wear a Life Jacket
That applies to kids and adults alike. It does not matter if you have been boating for twenty years, are a strong swimmer and have never had an accident in your like – you must wear a vest. Life jackets save lives – should something go wrong, you need to stay afloat. What if you are unconscious when you hit the water, what if you are injured and can’t swim. What if you are too tired to swim anymore?
Before you leave the dock, make sure that everyone on board has their life jacket on and that the jackets fit properly. Remember, children need a smaller size jacket so an adult one won’t do in a pinch. What you might not realize is that life preservers form another vital function as well – they can help to provide some protection against hypothermia by providing an extra layer and keep your head out of the water.
Don’t Drink and Sail
For the very same reason that you shouldn’t drink and drive. Alcohol dulls the senses and can make response times much slower than normal. You might not be able to avoid a collision with another vessel or land as a result.
Added to which, what if you black out and fall into the water?
Do Get Safety Training
Managing a boat is not technically all that hard on a normal day. But what happens if there is bad weather? What happens if an accident occurs and you don’t know how to deal with it? A good safety course will train you to act without thinking. Go to your nearest Coast Guard Office and ask them for advice on courses that you should take.
It’s Your Responsibility
You are the one who is literally holding the lives of your passengers in your hands. Set the right example and insist that the others follow your lead. If someone does not want to put on their life jacket, for example, give them the choice of leaving the boat. And then don’t leave the dock until it is on.
Know the Law
Being on the open water is a lot like getting in your car and driving in that there are a lot of rules, regulations, and norms that need to be followed. Sure, there are not as many craft on the water as there are on the roads, but the potential for a disastrous accident is much higher.
Think of it this way – in a showdown between your fishing trawler and an oil tanker, who would win? Would the tanker even realize that they had mowed you down? By understanding the rules when it comes to navigation and safety, you are making it a safe and fun experience for everyone.