If you enjoy boating activities like cruising, fishing, swimming or water skiing, then you know the importance of safety on the water. For new and seasoned boaters alike, here are some safety tips for boating to avoid both bodily harm and costly boat repair in Fort Lauderdale, FL:
- Know how to swim: If you are a frequent boater, then you should know how to swim. Having this skill lets you enjoy boating and other water sports, so if you are not a strong swimmer, sign up for swimming lessons. It’s important that any children on your boat also know how to swim. The sooner they get in the water and learn to swim, the lower their fear of water as they get older.
- Wear a life jacket: Whether you and your boat passengers know how to swim, always wear a life jacket. You might be a strong swimmer, and although that’s a huge plus, you won’t be able to swim to safety if knocked into the water unconscious. When worn properly, your life jacket (personal flotation device) can save you from drowning and can keep you afloat until help arrives.
- Pack extra safety gear: Before sailing off into the sunset, double check that you’ve packed extra safety equipment and supplies, including a first aid kit, bottles of water, non-perishable food, extra life jackets, a cell phone, towels, blankets and tools. Let everyone on the boat know where these items are located and how to use them. Safety items need to be stored in a safe and secure space, yet still be accessible.
- Track the weather: No matter the time of year, be sure you are always up to date on the forecast and predicted weather and water conditions before heading out onto the water. If rain, storms or rough waters are predicted, consider canceling your planned boating activity. In the event you get caught in bad weather while boating, get everyone back into the boat, do a head count, radio ahead that you are returning and make your way back to shore immediately.
- Don’t leave children unattended: Under no circumstances should children be left unattended in the boat or in the water. Kids, especially little ones, are not fully aware of their own safety or the safety of others around them. As such, their risk of drowning is higher. Kids participating in water activities, like boating, must always be under adult supervision. There’s no question about it.
- Tell someone your plans: Just as you would when leaving on a weekend road trip, it’s wise to let a friend or family member know your plans for boating. Boaters don’t have to submit a float plan, but it is a good idea to write out a basic float plan and give it to someone on shore. Should you not return by a certain time, help can be sent out. Think about it—there’s always a chance you might run into a problem like a mechanical issue, a health emergency or a severe change in weather.
Need your boat looked at before an upcoming trip? For the most reliable boat repair in Fort Lauderdale, FL, call Starboard Yacht Group LLC today!