The New Year is upon us! Let us start it out right with some boat safety tips. We all know that great times can be had on the water, and we are here to make sure all your times remain fun! Following these simple tips will ensure that your boating and fishing festivities never end in tragedy.
- Follow and Share Your Boating Plan: Whenever you set out on a boating excursion, no matter how short, always be sure to have a planned route and to share that plan with at least 1 other person that will remain ashore. If anything happens, your friend ashore will be able to send help to the right location.
- Double Check Your Safety Gear: Be sure that all your safety gear is onboard, you have the proper items and that everything is in good working order with enough supplies for all your passengers. For small vessels, there should be at least 1 appropriately sized life jacket for each passenger, a ringed buoy or circular float attached to the vessel, 1 fire extinguisher and flares, whistles or horns for signaling others of your downed location.
- Know the Weather and Sea Conditions: It is very important to know the expected weather pattern and incoming dangers. Out at sea, weather can change rather quickly. Knowing what could come while you are boating will allow you to gather your timeline and have secondary routes in case dangerous weather makes a particular route more difficult. Be sure to share these secondary routes with the friend mentioned above in case weather forces you on a different path.
- Follow the Rules of the Waterways: Whether you are in a lake, river or ocean, there are always rules and regulations to follow for the channels. Get to know your areas rules and pathways before heading out. Following proper etiquette with your fellow boaters is always much appreciated. Having a GPS to display the depth signatures isn’t a bad idea to keep on your boat either.
- Know Your Limits: If you are taking a long trip, share the steering time with your fellow friends or crew members. If you feel fatigued, take a break and pass the wheel to another person. We are generally talking about sleep or exhaustion fatigue here, but we want to be very clear – boating while under the influence is dangerous if you don’t know your limits. Drinking while boating can be just as devastating as drinking while driving.
For the anglers or boaters that regularly take their boats out, these are really no-brainers but for those of you just starting out, these tips are easy to follow.* Our team here at Ingman Marine wishes you the best of fun on your upcoming trips!