A day on the water can be a great way to bring family and friends together or relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. Taking the time to think about safety can keep a relaxing day on the boat from becoming a rough day on the water. We’ve gathered 7 boating tips to make your next adventure safe and fun.
- Have a float plan and notify someone of that plan. The US Coast Guard suggests that a float plan can include the following information:
- name, address, and phone number of trip leader
- name and phone number of all passengers
- boat type and registration information
- trip itinerary
- types of communication and signal equipment onboard
- Wear a life jacket! The majority of drowning victims are the result of boaters not wearing life jackets. Make sure everyone on the boat has a life jacket, and that it fits before leaving shore.
- Check the weather often and head back to the dock if you see darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds or sudden drops in temperature.
- Take a boating course – 70% of boating accidents are from operator error. You can find free ones online or in your community.
- Keep your boat clean, and make sure to carry bug spray and sunscreen to keep away bug bites and sunburns. You can apply bug spray to a bandana and wear it around your neck to keep mosquitoes away, or spray under the brim of your hat.
- Wear pants and long sleeved shirts to prevent mosquitoes if you are going to head out to the open sea or lake around dawn and dusk. Mosquitoes are most active at that time of day.
- Wear light colors like white or yellow to keep away bugs (they love navy blue!). Light colors will keep you cool in the bright sun.