12 Safety Tips For Recreational Boating -Safety Guide For Boat Lovers

Many of us travel to lakes, rivers, or the ocean as the weather heats up to fish, water ski, cruise, or simply unwind on a boat, yacht, or other personal watercraft. With approximately 12 million recreational boats officially registered in the U.S.A., it is not surprising that people like visiting the waterways. But before you go out with friends and family, remember some crucial safety advice.

1. Wear a life jacket for everyone.

Approximately 80% of fatal watercraft incidents involve drowning victims. 83% of them weren’t donning life jackets. Demand that every member of your staff and every visitor don a properly fitted life jacket. This can prevent hypothermia, keep them afloat in choppy waters, and, in certain cases, keep their heads above water.

2. When appropriate, wear a life jacket.

One Type I, II, III, or V personal floatation device (PFD) and one Type IV throwable device are required for boats 16 feet or longer. Each person on board must have a Type I, II, III, or V PFD in a boat that is 16 feet or smaller.

Each person on board must have a Type I, II, III, or V personal floatation device on every boat. Boats of 16 feet or more must also have a Type IV throwable device installed. Each PFD must have a Coast Guard Approval Number and be in good working order.

Off-shore life jackets are another name for Type I PFDs. They offer the most buoyancy and are useful in all types of waters, particularly in broad, choppy, or isolated areas where rescue may take longer. They are made to turn the majority of unconscious wearers face up in the water.

These near-shore buoyancy vests are Type II PFDs. They are designed for calm inland water or areas with a high likelihood of prompt rescue.

Floatation aids are another name for Type III PFDs. Like Type II, they work well in calm inland waters.

A Type IV PFD is designed to be thrown to a person in the water and grasped and held by the user until rescued.

Special usage devices include Type V PFDs. They may be carried instead of other PFDs if used in line with the acceptable conditions specified on the label. They could be hybrid PFDs, inflatable vests, deck suits, labour vests, or board sailing vests.

3. You should never boat if you are intoxicated.

An estimated 15% of fatal boating accidents each year are directly attributed to alcohol use. Leave the booze on dry land to maintain your focus when out on the water.

 4. Take a boating safety course.

Only 13% of boating fatalities happened on machines whose operators had obtained a nationally recognized certificate in boating safety education and safety kit. If you successfully finish a safety course, you can potentially be eligible for lower insurance premiums.

For further information, get in touch with your neighbourhood U.S. Power Squadron or Coast Guard Auxiliary, or go to uscgboating.org.

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5. Put down the cell phone.

Inattention is one of the top five causes of boating accidents. The use of cell phones while boating is becoming an increasingly dangerous practice, just like distracted driving on our highways. Don’t contribute to this situation. Keep an eye on the water in front of you and all around you.

6. Ensure you follow all navigational and boating safety regulations.

Two of the main causes of boating accidents are excessive speed and poor lookout. Make sure you are familiar with and strictly abide by the waterway’s local laws and regulations. Note the visibility, volume of traffic, and proximity to any potential shoals, rocks, or floating objects.

7. Be aware of weather changes and prepare for them.

On the water, a tranquil day might rapidly become unpleasant. In 2016, 41 fatalities were linked to the weather. While boating, keep an eye out for shifting weather conditions and keep up with the forecast.

8. Before a storm arrives, take action.

The National Hurricane Center issues storm and hurricane forecasts and alerts. Newspapers, commercial radio and television stations, and VHF marine radios are all sources of information for boaters. Before a storm develops, boaters must be informed of the different cautions and take appropriate measures. Small craft advisories with winds of 18 knots or less and hurricane warnings with winds of 74 miles per hour (64 knots) or greater are among the available warnings.

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9. Connect your GPS to a VHF radio with Digital Selective Calling (DSC). You can register for an MMSI number for free.

These measures can assist in removing the search component of search and rescue when taking place in coastal and inshore waters. When the emergency button is pressed, DSC enables the VHF radio to transmit data digitally and send an immediate digital distress signal to the Coast Guard that includes your precise location. The MMSI number, which will identify your vessel automatically, is a component of the alert.

10. Put a carbon monoxide detector to use.

Carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that may kill you in minutes, is emitted by all internal combustion engines. You cannot see, smell, or taste CO, making it important to be aware of its symptoms (similar to seasickness or alcohol intoxication).

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11. Provide your float strategy.

The U.S. Coast Guard advises always letting a friend or family member know where you’re going and when you’ll be back. In this manner, if you don’t come back when expected, the appropriate authorities can be informed.

12. Get a free vessel safety inspection.

Boats are intricate devices that require routine maintenance to keep them operating smoothly and safely. Before you set out on the water, let the qualified vessel examiners of the U.S. United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Power Squadron will inspect your boat’s equipment and provide you with safety kit advice as part of their free vessel safety checks. To locate one in your region, contact the marina or yacht club.

These are the guide to recreational boating safety, before you go out with friends and family, remember some crucial safety advice.