Few experiences are as enjoyable as taking a boating trip on a lazy afternoon with the friends or family – the warm sunshine, the cool spray, and the wind in your hair. There’s also the opportunity to do a bit of fishing, water skiing, and swimming. However, amidst all the fun and laughter, boating safety tends to take a back seat.
According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, there are 11 million registered boats in the United States and according to the U.S Coast Guard, there were 4,291 boating accidents in 2017 alone.
In this blog, we’ll list 4 boating safety tips that’ll keep your trips out on the blue both safe and enjoyable.
Never Drink and Boat
While most boat owners remain cautious while drinking and boating, the vast majority are far more casual when it comes to opening a can or two. However, both can prove equally dangerous and put the lives of everyone on the boat at risk. According to the United States Coast Guard Boating, drinking and boating is responsible for one-third of recreational boating fatalities.
There are also legal consequences as BUI (Boating under influence) is banned in all 50 states and may result in a loss of license, large fines, and even jail time.
Keep an Eye Out On the Weather
Always consult the weather and destinations forecast and never leave the dock if you notice even the slightest indication of bad weather. Know that the climate can change rapidly even if everything seems normal when you set sail. Always carry a radio with you and if you notice sudden wind shifts, lightning, or dark skies, return to the shore as soon as possible.
Be Mindful of Others
Be mindful of other swimmers and boaters and always keep a safe distance. Adhere to the boating rules established by property owners or local authorities and always follow posted signs. Keep the wake low when near other swimmers, boats, or the shore.
Implement Safety Practices
The most important of all safety practices is to always wear lifejackets that are USCG-approved. Remember that adult-sized lifejackets do not fit children and having children wear lifejackets is mandated by every state. Also, watch children carefully and don’t let them sit too close to the propellers or the edge.
Before you leave, create a float plan and e-mail it to a friend or family member. Finally, check whether you have a full tank of gas or not.
These are a few boating safety tips you should always have in mind before going out to on a trip. Manatee Insurance provides cheap boat insurance in Bradenton, Florida that comes with wide coverage and protects you from financial disasters. Contact us today for more information.