If you own a boat or yacht, taking your friends and family out on the water for special occasions may seem like the perfect way to celebrate. Should you choose to take your festivities outdoors, and especially if you are celebrating at night, it is important that you practice safe and responsible yacht operation for all members of your party. Taking proper precautions and ensuring responsible behavior can reduce the risk of injury and help you to adhere to boat safety laws. The following are important ways to practice safe boating.
- Prevent boating under the influence (BUI). Similar to driving laws, there are regulations that prohibit a person from operating their boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. BUI laws apply to all types of boats and yachts, and can result in serious penalties for those found operating their water vehicles while under the influence. If you are celebrating out on the water, you will want to be certain that no one who is driving your boat has used drugs or consumed alcohol. To prevent BUIs from occurring, designate a sober member of your party to operate your boat, or take advantage of captain services in Fort Lauderdale.
- Be aware of local boating laws. Different boating areas and docks allow different activities. It can be helpful to familiarize yourself with local regulations before you begin your festivities. If you are taking your boat somewhere new and are unfamiliar with the local boating laws, contact the local authorities to ensure your plans are in accordance with the rules.
- Ensure every passenger has access to a life jacket. Any time you bring a group of people out onto the water, it can be difficult to keep track of everyone’s safety. Should an accident take place, or if someone falls overboard, it is essential that you have the proper emergency equipment for him or her to stay safe. Life jackets and safety equipment are especially important if children who may not know how to swim are on board. In the unlikely event that your boat capsizes or sinks, every passenger should have a life jacket to prevent them from drowning.
- Be aware of other boats. Even though you may be out celebrating your own special occasion, you must be aware of and respectful to other boats and people in the water. Being unaware of your surroundings increases the risk that your boat will cause injury to others. This is particularly significant on major holiday weekends when many groups of people could be celebrating at once.
- Have a plan. Having a plan in the case of an emergency is always a responsible idea. It can be useful to pick an emergency meeting spot for your guests so that everyone can regroup after a chaotic situation. Discuss your plan with members of your party before going out onto the water to be certain that everyone is on the same page.
Celebrating on your boat can be a fun and memorable experience when you do so responsibly. For more information about how you can enhance your experience at sea, contact Starboard Yacht Group LLC. Remember: we offer captain services in Fort Lauderdale so you can enjoy your yacht while having to worry just a little less about needing to be responsible.