Whether you decide to go fishing, swimming, practice adventure water sports, or even simply enjoy the beauty of nature, boating can be an incredibly fun and exciting activity for the whole family, and a perfect opportunity to make fond and lasting memories. However, in order to ensure the most pleasurable experience possible in the water, you must prioritize the safety of you and your passengers on board.
So, here are some of the most important safety tips you should follow while boating and guarantee the best and safest water adventure:
1. Check the weather forecast
While sunny and warm days are truly perfect for boating, even such pleasant weather can turn out to be unpredictable. That is why it’s essential to always check the forecast prior to leaving the shore, looking at weather and water conditions, and paying special attention to warnings about low water temperatures and gusty winds. By respecting the forecasts and only heading out to sea when the conditions are truly suitable, you will be able to prepare yourself for any mishaps, and even avoid potentially dangerous situations while boating.
2. Bring necessary safety gear
Even if you’re riding on calm seas or in a covered yacht, accidents and emergencies can simply not be predicted, which is why it’s crucial to bring a boat safety kit, and prepare yourself and your passengers for every situation. From ropes, whistles and flashlights to fire extinguishers, flares and signal mirrors, your boat should always be equipped with easily accessible essential safety gear that’s in good working condition. Don’t forget to bring a first aid kit, either, in order to be prepared for any potential accidents or medical emergencies.
3. Always wear a life jacket
It is estimated that over 80% of boating fatality victims would have been saved if they wore a suitable life jacket. Not only helping people to stay afloat in rough waters but also keeping their heads above water and preventing hypothermia, life jackets are incredibly important and useful tools that should be worn by every person on board. In order to achieve the best results, it might be a good idea to have every person bring their own life jacket that’s appropriate for their weight, height and water activity, which is even more important when it comes to choosing life jackets for children.
4. Entrust a professional
If you want to feel as safe and sound as possible during your boating adventures, the best idea might be to turn to professionals. For example, if you opt for a reliable private boat charter, you can enlist the help of a reputable captain and crew, who will help ensure a safe and secure ride. What’s more, you might also be able to create a personalized itinerary with a good charter specialist, and organize the ideal trip most suited to your needs, while making sure your adventure is as pleasurable and enjoyable as it could possibly be.
5. Drive safely and responsibly
Improper lookout and excessive speed are among the top contributors to boating accidents worldwide. So, if you decide to drive the boat yourself, make sure to familiarize yourself with the local laws, rules and regulations of the waterway and always follow them closely, while driving at a safe, steady speed. It would also be a good idea to pay special attention to the density of traffic, the level of visibility, as well as the proximity to any navigational hazards, such as floating objects, rocks and shoals, in order to make an effort to avoid them when possible.
6. Know when and how to react
In case a passenger falls overboard, it’s crucial to react fast and in an appropriate manner. It’s incredibly important to get them out of the water and back onto the boat as quickly as possible, in order to avoid the dangers of hypothermia and drowning. As a flotation device might be necessary in certain rescue situations, it’s essential to throw it and retrieve the person quickly, without tipping your vessel or jumping in the water yourself. When the person is finally back on board, make sure to provide them with dry clothes immediately, to make them feel as comfortable as possible, and prevent further heat loss.
With advanced planning, thorough preparation, and a bit of quick thinking, any boating trip can turn out to be a safe and enjoyable adventure. And just by following these essential safety tips, you can ensure every water expedition you go on will be smooth sailing from now on.