With springtime finally here and summer right around the corner, it’s a great chance to get out and enjoy some of your favorite water-sports. But as with all things we have to remember to be careful. Here are five quick tips to stay safe while enjoying your self out on the water.
- Wear a life-vest The best life vest is the one you’re wearing. According to the Center for Disease Control, between the years of 2005 and 2009 an average of 3890 drowned each year – that’s TEN every DAY! Make sure everyone on board is wearing a coast guard approved life vest that fits. If the boat flips or you are thrown off this could save your life.
- Slow Down Pushing the throttle to max may get your adrenaline going, however it is extremely dangerous. When boating at high speeds, you may not have enough time to react to a dangerous situation and avoid a life-threatening collision. A boat travelling at 20 knots covers about a quarter of a mile in less than 30 seconds.
- Swimming and boating don’t always go together Swimming is one of the most popular things to do while out on a boat, but not every place is great for a dip. Places like marinas and boat ramps are not the best places to jump in. Try to find a place like a secluded cove or a beach area and don’t forget tip #1.
- Take a boating course Beginners and experienced boaters alike can benefit from these. Boat-ed offers a great safety course online, but nothing can beat on the water training. If you’re a member of a boat club, then you may get this training for free. Always ask before renting or joining a club about what safety courses are offered.
- Leave the adult beverages at home Alcohol affects you differently on the water. The open air and beautiful sunshine mixed with the bouncing waves will leave you fatigued much sooner than if you were sober. It will also slow down your reaction times, just like in a car. The safest thing is to do is to leave the bottle safely on shore.
The most important thing you can do on the water is to use your common sense. Many of the accidents that occur on the water could have been avoided if boat operators had listened to their gut. So grab your inner tube, some sunscreen, and go have some fun in the sun.