Boat Safety Checklist: What to Know Before You Go
There is nothing in the world that compares to hitting the open seas on a boat or ship. Whether you own a small skiff or a sizable schooner, you should enjoy the breeze and tranquility of boating with friends and family. But before you hit the water, make sure you are prepared for any emergency. Read this handy boating checklist to ensure you have taken the proper precautions in boat safety.
Boat Safety – Before You Leave
- Everyone gets a life vest! Make sure there are enough life jackets before you leave the shore so each person gets one. More than 90% of boat fatalities involve drowning victims who are not wearing life jackets.
- Avoid alcohol, period. Never get on a boat with someone who is drinking. Operating any type of boat requires a clear head and sound judgement at all times.
- Have a fire extinguisher on board, just in case.
- Bring a GPS, maps, and know where you are going.
- Bring safety equipment to call for help. That includes flare guns and a device that can make loud sounds which can be heard for up to a mile. Make sure you have proper navigational lights, too.
- Bringing your petA?on board? Make sure your best friend has a pet life jacket, just in case. And be sure to provide plenty of water, food and shade during your cruise.
Boat Safety – During YourA?Ride
- Do not speed. It sounds fun, but ita??s the number one cause of boating accidents.
- Watch the weather. Bring a radio on board and keep a close eye on the skies. Look out for sudden wind shifts, lightening, suddenly choppy water, and other signs that a storm is approaching.
- Dona??t forget to always follow safe boating rules while on the water. Always maintain safe distances and keep passengers from hanging over the railing.
- Check the boat capacity, and never overload it with people or gear. Your boat will be unstable and you will risk capsizing.
- If your guests will be tubing or diving off the side of the boat, make sure you use a safety flag to alert other boaters, and stay away from jet skiers and other boats.
The best way to stay safe is to compile your own a??pre-departure checklista?? to ensure that no safety rules or preparation is missed or forgotten. You should also check that you are well equipped with the food, water, medicine, and survival supplies you may need.
For more safety tips, read the LivSecure blog.