Our lakes, rivers, and oceans are enjoyable, but can sometimes pose dangers to water goers. Boat safety is something that everyone should take seriously. As the warm summer months arrive, we would like to take this opportunity to underline the importance of safety precautions and wise behavior when spending time on the water.
Education is Essential
Education is one of the most important aspects of boat safety and responsibly. Knowing the ins and outs of the boat, how to navigate waterways, how to read a nautical chart and how to operate a VHF radio are just a few important things to learn before going out on the water.
When you’re on the water, it pays to know the lay of the land and the rules of the road. Different bodies of water have varying rules on how boaters should conduct themselves with respect to speed, parking, and so on. Not to mention it helps you get to those prime fishing spots faster!
It is imperative to have a marine VHF radio system and follow accurate operating procedures when using it. By speaking clearly, using the right language, and understanding the system of channels and signals, you make it easier for others to comprehend what you want, and to convey important information quickly and unmistakably in the event of an emergency.
A life-jacket should be worn regardless of your level of experience on the water. Even the best swimmer can run into a life threatening situation. Extra clothing, sunscreen, food and water are also a good idea when planning a day of fun. Take that extra step by placing these items into a waterproof container or bag.
Know the forecast before setting out on the boat. Although sportsmen may have better luck on cloudy or windy days, being out in a boat in bad weather can be very risky. High winds, rough water and thunderstorms can suddenly turn a pleasant outing into a frightening experience.
It’s important to know the rules, even more so – to practice them. We hope this checklist is an aid to make sure you are prepared for an enjoyable and safe 2012 season!