6 Ways to Stay Safe on the Water This Summer
While boating with family and friends is a fun summer activity, there is always the potential for a boating accident each time you head out on the water. Boating accidents are common. In 2018 alone, 2,511 were injured and 633 died from boating accidents in the United States.
Boating Safety Tips
Being aware and informed of boating safety reduces the chance you and your passengers will have an accident. Before you set sail this summer, check out these top six boating safety tips.
1. Get a Free Safety Assessment of Your Vessel
The United States Coast Guard offers a complimentary boat examination to ensure your vessel is safe and compliant with both state and federal regulations. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons can either come to you or you can request a virtual vessel exam.
2. Check the Weather and Water Conditions
Weather and water conditions play a key role in how dangerous and difficult it is to steer and navigate when you are out on the water. While checking the weather before you head out is important, you also want to monitor it while you are boating since conditions can change fast.
3. Perform a Pre-Boarding Safety Check
Before you leave the dock, it’s a good idea to spend a few minutes performing a pre-boarding safety check. This involves checking key components of your boat ranging from the gas level to the battery.
4. Have a Float Plan
A float plan is essentially an emergency back-up plan when you are on the water. It involves telling a family or friend about where you will be going and how long you expect to be gone. You can fill out a float plan and list important information such as a description of your boat, passengers and contact information.
5. Bring Safety Equipment
Everyone on board should have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, even if they are experienced boaters and good swimmers. Make sure each passenger’s life jacket fits well and that they keep it on.
It’s also a good idea to have a first-aid kit along with basic safety tools and equipment like a throwable flotation device, flares, rope and a fire extinguisher. Bring plenty of sunscreen and water to keep your passengers safe and hydrated.
6. Refresh Your Knowledge With a Boat Safety Course
Boat U.S. Foundation offers a foundational safety course with state-specific boating knowledge and skills. It is approved by NASBLA and recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard. Best of all, this course is free and you can take it online at any time.
Choose a Sturdy and Safe Dock for Your Property
At EZ Dock, we’ve been manufacturing customizable modular floating docks for over 26 years. Unlike traditional docks, we use an innovative recycled rubber coupling design that creates a strong, durable construction. Our docks are also eco-friendly and maintenance-free. Contact EZ Dock to learn more about our floating docks and how you can ensure a safe boating experience this summer.