Tips to Have a Safe and Fun Summer on the Water
Boating can be a blast during warm, sunny days. More Americans are starting to purchase their own boat to enjoy. There was a .22% increase in registered recreational vessels from 2018-2019, and more have since been registered. However, they can also be dangerous. In 2019, there were 4,168 boating accidents, most of these could have been prevented with the proper training, equipment, and if the driver were paying more attention to their surroundings. Here are a few safety tips to keep your family safe in and on the water, boat lifts, and docks.
Wear your life jacket
While this may seem like an obvious one, there were over 6 times more drownings of someone who was not wearing a life jacket than someone who was. Life jackets are imperative, especially for non-swimmers, children, in water with currents, and bodies of water in which you cannot see the bottom. Before heading out on the water, make sure you have a properly fitting life jacket on the boat for everyone.
Bring at least two ways to communicate effectively with someone on land
If you get stuck on the water or there is trouble, you should have something on your boat that you can use to communicate with someone who can get you help. If there is someone on the docks that can help you, having a flare gun, unique flag, or even a communication device like a radio or a phone can get you saved. If you do have an electronic device, make sure they are fully charged, there are extra batteries on the boat with you, and you have a method of communication that doesn’t require electricity.
Make sure your rescue equipment is in working order
While simply having the equipment is important, they won’t do you too much good if they don’t work or are broken. Before boating season, make sure your life rings or floating devices, communication devices, tools, and first aid kits are stocked and up-to-date. Extra clothes, blankets and towels, food rations, plenty of drinking water, sunscreen, and other forms of sun protection are also important to have.
Make sure the driver is unimpaired and paying attention at all times
Just like on land, drinking and driving is extremely dangerous. Boat operators should remain sober and vigilant at all times. In 2019, there were 546 incidents that occurred because the boat driver wasn’t paying attention. Alcohol use contributed to 282 incidents and resulted in 113 deaths. The driver should be aware of all surroundings to avoid injuries, deaths, or damages to the vessel or other property.
Know the signs of severe weather and water conditions
Speaking of the sky, the weather can turn in an instant. Knowing the signs of weather changes can also keep you safe. High winds, drastic temperature changes, rough waters, and dark clouds are all signs of severe weather. Watch your weather conditions and check your local boating forecast before you leave your dock or boat lift.
And don’t forget sunscreen!
Sunscreen is imperative to a fun and safe day on the water, no matter who you are. Keeping extra with you and applying it multiple times when outside can help you to avoid sunburn, sun poisoning, and even skin cancer. While the risk of skin cancer goes up as you get older, it’s one of the most common cancers in young adults. You can get sunscreen from your local drug or grocery store.
As fun as boating is, it’s important to be safe on and around the water. Follow these safety tips and make sure that everyone has fun and that your day outside is a great one. From cargo lifts to gangways, and from kayaks and boards to boat lifts, Boat Lift Warehouse has boating equipment that can safely get and keep you on the water.