Boating is a recreational activity that is undertaken by people from all walks of life. Whether is a simple activity such as fishing or an adrenaline pumping one like white water rafting, it is important for boaters to ensure that they adhere to standard safety measures. Boating safety courses and classes are now available all over the country.
These courses teach boaters basic safety measures they can take to prevent accidents. They also cover the aspect of dealing with accidents and preventing deaths. At the end of these courses, boaters are certified by their respective institutions having passed the set tests.
For those who cannot afford this class, online sites such as iboats.com Blog and Boating Safety Resource Center have safety tips that you can easily read and familiarize yourself with before embarking on a boating trip. Some of these tips include:
• Have a safety checklist
Before embarking on any boating trip, you should have a safety checklist on board. This checklist should have all the safety items you will require on your boat. Check each item on the boat as per the list and replace items that are worn out or missing.
• Read the weather
You should be up-to-date with the weather conditions in your location. You should also learn how to observe the physical weather changes incase the radio forecasts are not accurate. Changing tides and clouds are good weather indicators.
• Have an assistant
Among your crew, you should pick and assistant who will be able to steer the boat in the event you cannot. If you are with your family, include an extra navigator to help you out in controlling the boat.
• Check the boat
The US Coast Guard offers free safety checks that you can take advantage of. As a boater, you should ensure your boat is properly functioning before you take it into the water. You would not like an incident where you get stranded in the middle of the sea or ocean with no one to offer you assistance. Radio and navigation gadgets should also be checked and certified to be in proper working condition.
• Use life jackets
Life vests are the most essential items on a boat. In the case of an accident, these vests will save you from drowning. Statistics show that a majority of victims of boat accidents who die do so because they were not wearing a life vest. It is important to make sure every occupant on a boat has their life jacket on and properly fastened.
• Swimming classes
Swimming is another safety measure that boaters should be well aware of. It makes no sense going on a boating trip and being around water when you know you cannot swim. Swimming lessons start from the tender age of 4 so it should not be an excuse for anyone to lack this essential skill.