Summertime is a glorious time for children and adults alike, especially when it is time to rest and relax. One of the most popular ways to have fun when the weather gets hot is by taking to the water. Whether you’re swimming, fishing, or just relaxing, doing it on a boat amplifies the fun factor many times over. However, boating safety is key in order to make sure your fun goes on all summer long.
Step number one to maintaining safe boating practices is to keep an eye on the weather. Nobody wants to get stuck out in the ocean or on the lake when a storm strikes because dangerous situations can arise quickly. Verify that the weather forecast is clear before setting out from home and then keep an eye out for changes on a smartphone, radio, or other device.
Once the weather checks out, make sure you have all pieces of boat safety equipment you need before you depart. Go through an equipment checklist and verify that everything is present. You should have a life jacket for each person who will be boarding your boat. Keep a sound producing horn in stock that is capable of producing a loud sound to alert others who are nearby in case of an emergency. Verify that your lighting system is operational and that you have plenty of tools and spare essential parts so you do not get stranded on the water.
Finally, make sure you have a “float plan” in place. This means determining where you will be going while on the water and designating approximate times regarding when boating will occur. Write out the information and give it to someone who will not be going on the trip with you, then check in with that person at pre-determined times to let them know everything is well. Have a plan in place regarding what that check-in person should do if he or she does not hear from you at the established time.
By making sure your gear is in place and having a safety plan, you can help make sure your time of fun in the sun doesn’t turn into a nightmare. Staying safe on the water is simple as long as you take the proper time to prepare before setting out for fun.