Boating is loads of fun, but with the privilege comes much responsibility. As boaters, we should know and understand boating safety, and not take it for granted by ignoring boating laws or good advice. To stay safe on the water avoid these five mistakes:
1. Failure to know your boat. By knowing your boat you give yourself a leg up in the boating safety arena because you understand your boat’s limitations and your own.
- Failure to wear a life jacket. Drowning is the leading cause of death in all boating fatalities. By choosing the proper life jacket and wearing it while boating, you greatly increase your chances of survival if you are in an accident, your boat capsizes or you fall overboard.
- Failure to file a float plan before leaving the dock. If the worst happens while you are boating and you don’t return, your loved ones and family won’t know where to direct search and rescue agencies to look for you. File a float plan before you leave the dock.
- Ignore Coast Guard safety regulations. The Coast Guard is a federal regulating agency for recreational boats. As such, they issue boating safety recommendations and ensure the proper compliance with federal boating safety laws and equipment requirements. Know the boating safety regulations for your size boat and be sure to have the equipment on board your vessel.
- Drinking while boating. Drinking while boating is a bad idea for operators and passengers. Avoid hefty fines, losing your operator’s license, or jail time by not drinking and boating.
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