Boating is more than dropping your craft in the water and speeding along the seas without a care in the world. Although the open seas does attract millions of boaters because of the freedom that comes with being in complete control of where you travel, safety should be at the top of you checklist before the boat ever leaves the dock. Consider these 5 boating safety tips from before you cruise out for the day on your boats.
1. Make certain your boat has enough safety equipment on board. Each person on the boat should have a life jacket they are wearing at all times. It only takes a second for a rogue wave to hit the boat and send your guests into the water. Life jackets will protect you and your guests from any trouble that may arise.
2. Take a boating safety class before your first trip on the water. The instructors will enlighten you on all the potential hazards you may experience while on the water and how you can take care of these issues in a timely manner. Even something as safe as a pontoon boat can be dangerous on the water.
3. Pay close attention to the weather forecast for that day and head any warnings. Better yet, make sure to have a radio on board that broadcasts any weather emergencies so that you can make changes to your plans if storms are fast approaching.
4. Always let someone on shore know where you will be heading for the day. If you are not back by a certain time, they can alert the authorities to check a designated area rather than scanning hundreds of thousands of miles of open seas to help find you and your craft.
5. Bring fully charged mobile devices and have a navigation system on board. Once away from shore, a sudden storm could easily disorient a new boater to the point you are traveling with your guests in the wrong direction and headed for serious trouble.
Things can go from bad to worse in the blink of an eye when on the water, and with rescue many miles away, the only chance you have to safe yourself or your guests will be with your quick thinking. Never assume that things will be fine simply because the skies are clear and no bad weather is near.
Large waves can smack the side of your boat and send you overboard in a second, and without any emergency training you could instantly be placed in a life or death situation.