Many of us head to lakes, rivers, or oceans to enjoy a wide variety of summertime water activities. Fishing, water skiing, and tubing are just a few of the things we look forward to when the weather warms up. However, it is crucial to take note of some safety tips before heading out on a boat with your family and friends. Here are a few tips to help:
According to the American Boating Association, about 75 percent of boating accident victims drowned in 2020. Of those, 86 percent were not wearing a lifejacket. With such staggering statistics, you must ensure that a life jacket for each person is on board and insist that they fit properly. Doing so will enhance passenger safety by keeping them afloat in case of a boat accident.
Alcohol plays a huge part in fatal boating accidents every year. Ensure that you stay focused while on the water by avoiding alcohol consumption. Boats are slower to respond than an automobile on land. And without brakes, stopping a vessel may be impossible in time to avoid an imminent accident.
Inattention is among the top five contributors to fatal boat accidents. Similar to our highways, texting, talking, and general use of cell phones while boating is a growing problem. Always keep your eyes focused on the water around and ahead of you. Answering that text can surely wait.
Excessive speed is also a major contributor to boating accidents. Therefore, ensure that you understand your local waterway rules and laws and follow them to the letter. Always take note of traffic density, visibility, and proximity to navigational hazards. Waterways often change over time as well. For instance, rocks, floating objects, and shoals can shift into the path of regular boating lanes.
There are many guidelines enabling you to avoid accidents while boating. The above are a few precautions you can take to you keep yourself, and others on board, safe.