“Fun,” “speed,” “freedom” and “escape” are the catch phrases often hyped by boat advertisers who rarely use the word “safety.” But safety is just as important since the marine environment can be unforgiving.
Safe boating means being prepared for emergencies, having a thorough understanding of how your boat operates, having proper safety equipment on board and observing these basic safety rules:
- Alcohol, drugs and boating don’t mix!
- Know navigation “Rules of the Road” and how to read a chart. Go to navcen.uscg.gov for more rules and much more!
- Know how to operate your boat. Make sure your partner knows as well.
- Keep proper safety gear accessible and know how to use it.
- Wear life jackets.
- Stay alert to changes in weather and sea conditions; check the marine weather report frequently.
- Learn first aid.
Take a Boating Safety Class!
Boating education is a critical part of responsible boating. Since 1984, the BoatUS Foundation has been providing the Courseline as a free service to boaters, supplying information on boating safety courses offered around the nation via their website. Visit boatus.org/courseline to find a boating course near you!