Whether it’s your first time out on the water or you’re a seasoned pro, keeping yourself and your fellow passengers prepared for the unexpected can mean more time fishing and less time dealing with the aftermath of a boating emergency.
A lot can happen when you’re on a boat, including:
- Severe changes in the weather forecast
- Collisions with other boaters
- Carbon Monoxide poisoning
- Small Fires
- Falling overboard or capsizing your boat
To help you avoid these types of emergencies from happening or to ensure you and your passengers know how to handle a dangerous situation to avoid further injury or damage to your vessel, here are 4 essential boating safety tips to remember:
- Check Your Boating Safety Kit: If you’ve recently purchased a newer boat, there’s a good chance it contains a boating safety kit that complies with the U.S. Coast Guard and your local state’s minimum safety requirements. Essential items should include life jackets, a fire extinguisher, a First-Aid kit, a sound device, and a visual distress signal. You also want to ensure your boat is stocked with the following equipment:
- Floatation device
- VHF Radio
- Anchor and chain
For more information on what to include in your boating safety kit, visit the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary website.
- Monitor the Daily Forecast: Be sure to check the forecast before you head out for your next excursion and keep an eye on the weather, via radio, while you’re enjoying your time out on the water. This boating safety tip can help you avoid dangerous shifts in weather patterns that could lead you off course, damage your vessel, or cause your boat to capsize from waves and heavy winds.
- Wear a Lanyard-Style Kill-Switch: Most states don’t require you to wear a lanyard or cord that connects you to your boat’s kill switch, but using one can help protect you and your passengers. A lanyard-style kill switch clips onto your lifejacket, wrist, or body while you operate your vessel. If you fall overboard, the boat’s engine cuts off immediately, stopping the propellers and preventing any further injury or boating emergency.
- Upgrade Your Seat Suspension: If you love cutting through choppy waters in search of your next catch or you find yourself a distance from shore when the winds pick up, you run the risk of seriously injuring your back. Equipping your pedestal-style seating with a shock-absorbing system will ensure you can ride the roughest waves without feeling the heavy hits in between.