National Safe Boating Week: Tips for the Summer Ahead
There's tons of activities to do this summer and my favorite just might be getting my sea legs ready for a day on the boat! Since we celebrated National Safe Boating week last week, our friends at the National Safe Boating Council have several tips to help raise awareness and remind boaters how to boat responsibly before getting on the water.
First, let's talk life jackets. They’re not only for the kiddos - they're for the whole family to wear at all times. You don't have to go with the classic bright orange ones either because today's options offer tons of styles for everyone. When purchasing a life jacket, check that it's U.S. Coast Guard approved, appropriate for the water activity, and fits properly. Life jackets should fit snug, so do NOT use an adult size on a child. By ensuring all straps, zippers and fasteners are secured, you can see if it passes the snug test. Simply have someone try to pull it up. If it doesn't budge past your ears, you're all set for the water!
Another helpful safety tip is creating a Float Plan. Make it a habit to let someone on shore know your plan for the day, including your boat type, how many people are on board – and most importantly – where you are going and what time you expect to return.
We all have cell phones, but they may not be a reliable communication device while boating. To ensure you can communicate with other boaters and during an emergency, have a VHF radio and a personal locator beacon in your boating gear. These will give you peace of mind knowing you won't be stranded in an emergency.
Most importantly, always travel at safe speeds, know where you're going, and never boat under the influence.
For even more boating safety tips from the National Safe Boating Council, head over to SafeBoatingCampaign.com and enjoy a safe, summer day on the water!