Wind down from National Safe Boating Week; Gear up for summer fun!

National Safe Boating week is the launch of the 2017 North American Safe Boating Campaign. This yearlong campaign promotes safe and responsible boating and the value of voluntary, consistent life jacket wear by recreational boaters through the national theme, Wear It!

National Safe Boating Week is the launch of the 2017 North American Safe Boating Campaign. This yearlong campaign promotes safe and responsible boating and the value of voluntary, consistent life jacket wear by recreational boaters through the national theme, Wear It!

As National Safe Boating Week winds down, we are gearing up for summer fun! As the summer months bring in warmer weather, maritime activity on the water increases exponentially. With more boaters on the water, the chance for maritime accidents, or boaters in distress rises. These accidents can happen at a moment’s notice and the best way to make sure you, your friends and family have an enjoyable time on the water is through the proactive mindset of boating safety knowledge and preparation.

Remember to stay safe on the water with these important safety tips:

  • Make sure your boat is equipped with essential safety gear (see more information below)
  • Maintain at least 3 points of contact when moving around in the boat and avoid reaching overboard for objects.
  • Check the weather before you leave and be prepared to wait out bad weather, especially on the return trip.
  • NEVER consume alcohol or drugs and boat.
  • Always wear a life jacket when in an open boat or on an open deck.
  • File a float plan.

 

To make sure you have the correct gear, contact the Coast Guard Auxiliary for a free vessel safety check. Trained examiners help boaters review their equipment and give advice about how to improve safety. Vessels that pass the exam may display a safety decal and may be eligible for insurance discounts.

Here is some of the gear you should have on board:

  • A life jacket for each person on board. Remember, the best life jacket is the one you wear!
  • A Type IV throwable device, such as a ring buoy. These are intended for use on small boats in calm, inland water with heavy boat traffic where help is always nearby.
  • Communications devices like VHF-FM marine-band radio with digital selective calling. Although cell phones are better than no means of communication, they tend to have gaps in coverage while on the water and limited battery life.
  • A fire extinguisher that is mounted in a readily accessible location on all vessels.
  • An Emergency position-indicating radio beacon. An EPIRB allows the Coast Guard and other rescue agencies to pinpoint the beacon’s exact location.
  • Signaling and sound-producing devices (mirror, whistle, flares, air horn, etc.) – All boaters should be able to signal for help. Boaters must have U.S. Coast Guard-approved day and night signals for vessels when required signaling devices are recommended while operating on the water.
  • First aid kit – This is a must-have item for cuts, scrapes and minor injuries!
  • Although not required, dressing for the weather and protecting yourself against the dangers of cold water immersion is extremely important. Combat the cold with a dry suit or anti-exposure coveralls.

 

Federal law requires boaters have a personal floatation device for each passenger, and children aged 13 years and younger are required to wear a life jacket. In an emergency, there is no time to put on a life jacket, so wearing one at all times is crucial.

Federal law requires boaters have a personal floatation device for each passenger, and children aged 13 years and younger are required to wear a life jacket. In an emergency, there is no time to put on a life jacket, so wearing one at all times is crucial.

 

Additional resources:

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