Taking boat safety courses is of great importance for a safe trip. The following are helpful tips selected from course lessons you can follow to ensure a safe boating trip.
Wear your life jacket. The use of flotation devices can reduce cases of drowning. Life jackets in the market are now striking in appearance and are more relaxing to wear, as well. When properly worn, life jackets can help prevent tragedies from happening.
Avoiding boating while under the influence of alcohol. It is well known that alcohol can affect the body’s balance, coordination, vision, and judgment. Researches reveal that alcohol is one contributing influence or cause of roughly one-third of the recorded boating fatalities.
Attend boating education courses. Based on reports, a majority of boating accidents are caused by operator controllable issues. The main causes of such incidents are operator inattentiveness, unsafe speeds, operator’s lack of piloting experience, and recklessness or carelessness.
Courses on boat education focus on the regulatory and legislative rules for the safe navigation and operation of recreational boats.
Take part in the Vessel Safety Check Program. This is a public service given by the United States Power Squadron volunteer groups and the United States Coast Auxiliary that aims to promote safety in boating.
Be alert of the risks posed by carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, and poisonous gas emitted by all internal combustion engines. Those affected by carbon monoxide poisoning manifest symptoms that are parallel to those with seasickness. CO can cause death within minutes.
Possible CO poisoning can be acquired while operating gasoline powered engines while rafted or docked with operating engines of other boats; working in improperly ventilated cabins; using air conditioning that is powered by motor generator onboard; or floating or swimming near an inactive boat engine.
To avoid the occurrence of CO poisoning, it is important that you are informed of the risks, and that you properly set-up and maintain the boat equipment, maintain sufficient ventilation, and use CO detectors, particularly in the sleeping and living areas.
Other quick tips that should be taken into account are listed below.
Be sure to have a fire extinguisher on board. Check that it is approved by the US Coast Guard. Also, keep the equipment charged and that it can be readily accessed.
Test the boat lights before leaving the dock. If battery operated lights are being used, always have extra batteries on hand. Even if you plan to get back before it gets dark, it is always wise to prepare for equipment malfunction.
Study the right anchoring procedures. Improper anchoring is reportedly one of the causes of many fatal accidents.
Do not permit the passengers to ride beyond of the protective fences of the boat. If the boat suddenly stops or turn, the passengers may fall overboard.
Be mindful of the weather condition. If you observe lightning flashes and the water is getting choppy, prepare for a possible emergency situation. Bring with you a radio to keep up to date with the latest weather reports.
Carry emergency supplies like first aid kits, lights, and maps. Keep them inside a floating bag. Inform someone where you will be going and when to expect your return. Exercise etiquette in boat launching.
Remove the straps and covers before launching. Practice how to properly load and unload when it is not too hectic at the ramp.
Author: Jose Rossello