Safe boating is fun boating! Your guide to a safe, fun-filled summer

Safe boating is fun boating! Your guide to a safe, fun-filled summer

A Beginner's Guide to Camping with Kids Reading Safe boating is fun boating! Your guide to a safe, fun-filled summer 4 minutes

When the calendar turns to June, kids are finishing up their school year and most families consider summer officially here. There are so many great ways to enjoy the sunny skies and warm temperatures. Whether it be hiking or biking your favorite trail, or sitting out on the back deck with your favorite book, there are so many possibilities for fun.

One of our favorite ways to enjoy the summer is to get out on the water. As we wrap up boating safety week, we wanted to recap some of the best ways to keep you and your family safe while enjoying the waters.

Don’t forget your life jackets

Hey, we get it. Life jackets aren’t the most stylish and comfortable thing to wear. And if you know how to swim, you may think you’ll be able to safely swim your way out of danger. But think again. The majority of boating-related incidents and fatalities are caused by not wearing a life jacket. A life jacket gives you and your loved ones the peace of mind that if something unforeseen does happen and you find yourself in the water, you will have the greatest likelihood to survive. Here are some quick things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your life jackets are U.S. Coast Guard approved, and fit appropriately for your size and weight.
  • Check all buckles and straps to ensure they fasten correctly. If you’re life jacket does have some cosmetic problems, it’s best to just replace the entire life jacket as opposed to trying fix it. It’s definitely the safer choice.
  • If you choose to stow your life jacket instead of wearing it at all times, keep it in a location on the boat that is easily and quickly accessible.

There are also different types of life jackets for different applications. A Type III is the one recommended for watersports and/or general passenger use.

Don’t drink and boat

This is just a quick note to say hey, be smart out there. If you plan to enjoy some beverages while boating, make sure someone else is on board to drive the boat back safely. About half of all boating accidents involve drugs or alcohol. Let’s keep our waters safe for everyone to enjoy.

Make sure your navigation and docking lights work

If you plan to be out on the water during overcast skies or nighttime boating, you need to make sure all of your lights are working so you can accurately see where you’re headed, and also be seen by other boaters. They indicate your position, which helps to greatly reduce the possibility of collisions. If you need replacements, check out ITC’s selection of functional lighting, featured as OEM parts in many boat manufacturers, including Regal, Bennington, Four Winns, and others. With quick order turnaround times, they’ll have you back on the water with your mind at ease knowing you have everything working properly.

Have a Float Plan

You can’t go wrong with creating a float plan that details where you’ll be, and who will be with you. It doesn’t have to be fancy; just a written plan of what your day looks like.

Boaterxam.com lists these essentials details to include in your float plan:

  • Your name and contact information
  • The date (or dates) of your boating activities and when you plan to return
  • Where you plan to boat
  • Who you're with (and their contact information)
  • Notes about the safety equipment you have on board

 (https://www.boaterexam.com/blog/10-critical-tips-for-a-safe-boating-season/)

Leave your float plan with a member of your family, a friend, or anyone else you trust that will contact the authorities or US Coast Guard should an emergency happen.

We hope you and your families enjoy the beautiful days out on the water this season. Stay safe out there!

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