As the warm weather of summer approaches, lake house owners, cabin owners and boating lovers have prepared their watercraft to provide hours of fun and relaxation on bodies of water across the region.
Are you ready for summer boating activities?
Your boat may be in good shape after taking it out of storage, and you may have completed prop and motor tune-ups to make sure it runs smoothly, but are you and your boat guests aware of the best boating safety practices? Even if you have spent many years boating without any accidents, it’s important to remember the basics of boat safety.
Importance of Boating Safety
Having these safety precautions in your mind while out on your boat can make a world of difference as it only takes one accident to alter your boating experience. In many situations, even the most experienced boat operators make occasional mistakes which lead to injuries or even deaths. Whether the individual wasn’t paying attention to where he/she was going, or the operator was going too fast in a specific area, these mistakes can prove to be dangerous and deadly.
How can a boater avoid these unfortunate outcomes? Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind while enjoying your time out on the water:
Enroll In A Boat Safety Course
The best way to fully understand your boat, the rules and regulations of driving a boat around your lake, and general boating safety guidelines is by completing a boat safety course. Oftentimes you’re able to complete these courses online or in-person at a local training provider. Learning boat safety information from trained professionals is a great way to build confidence in your boat operations and learn about the important rules to abide by.
Carry An Updated Boat Safety Kit
Have you ever searched for rope, a flashlight or a first aid kit in your boat safety kit only to find it completely empty? Don’t let this be the case this summer! Make sure your boat safety kit has everything you could possibly need in it. You never know what situation you’ll find yourself in while you’re in the middle of the lake, so it’s best to be prepared with items used for medical emergencies and boating emergencies. Here are 5 items you need in your boat safety kit:
- First Aid Kit
- Fire Extinguisher
- Telescoping Paddle
Carry The Correct Sized & Amount Of Lifejackets
These items could possibly be the most important safety item in your boat. In statistics gathered from the period of 1991-2010, the Canadian Red Cross states wearing a life jacket could eliminate 90% of all boating related drownings. Along with simply wearing a life jacket, make sure you have the correct size and standard of life jacket. Canadian law offers three different options for acceptable life jackets: Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Standard Type and Small Vessel life jackets.
Do Not Drink & Boat
Just as you should not consume alcohol and operate a road vehicle, you should neither operate a boat while consuming alcohol or if you are intoxicated. The Canadian Red Cross reports that alcohol is a factor, or possible factor, in nearly 50% of all boating fatalities. Not only do you put yourself at risk of injury or death, you’re endangering the safety of all boaters in the area.
Use Common Sense
Finally, using common sense is the best way to go about operating your boat or personal watercraft. Navigating your watercraft while thinking of the safety of both yourself and others will significantly lessen the possibility of experiencing a boating accident. While you may be doing your part to stay safe on the lake, others may be irresponsible with their boating activities. With this in mind, it’s important to stay aware of your surroundings and other boaters.
Summertime is a highly-anticipated season for everyone who loves hot summer days out on the boat. Though everyone is excited to get back onto the local lakes with their watercrafts, it’s important to remember basic safety guidelines. Remembering these simple tips will make for a fun, memory-making summer experience.
After safely operating your watercraft, don’t forget to make sure your boat is properly stored when not in use. One of the best ways to do that is with one of our shore docking solutions. Check out our selection of boat ramps for convenient, on-shore storage of your boat!
See you on the lake!