One of the very first things we’re taught when learning about swimming, boating or other water activities, is how to identify and use life vests. Life vests are your primary safety tool in the event you find yourself overboard and in the water and it doesn’t matter how good a swimmer you are or how comfortable you feel in the water: a life vest will end up saving your life.
As you’re skimming down your list of yacht maintenance in Fort Lauderdale, FL this spring and summer, take the time to make sure you’re following proper life vest protocol on your boat. Doing so will not only keep you and your passengers safe in the event of an accident, it’ll also keep you out of trouble when it comes to fines and fees!
Understanding life vest safety
First and foremost, make sure you have life vests available on your yacht at all times. This means more than just opening the storage closet and checking to make sure you have them—really make sure they’re ready in the event that you need them:
- Make sure you’re stocking one vest per passenger on your vessel. It’s a good idea to keep as many vests on board as the capacity of your ship allots, that way you’re always ensured a vest for passengers, no matter what company you’re keeping.
- Check to see that you have multiple size vests available. Vests should appropriately fit each person wearing them, so there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. Men, women and children need to have appropriately fitting vests to help them stay afloat.
- Finally, check to see that all vests aboard your yacht are in good condition, free of rips, tears or other imperfections that may hinder their life-saving ability when they’re used.
After you’ve checked to make sure that you have the right vests aboard, in the appropriate quantities, and that everything is in proper working order, make sure you’re taking the time to teach all of your passengers how to use the life vests. A life vest won’t do you any good if you’re not sure of how to properly wear it—it takes only seconds to learn this life-saving process!
Avoiding trouble with the law
Having life vests aboard your vessel is more than just a smart precaution—it’s also the law! If you’re caught sailing without appropriate safety measures, you could be subject to paying some hefty fines and fees. If you’re pulled over by the coast guard and they determine you don’t have adequate life vests, you’re liable to incur a fine for every person aboard who is without a vest!
The first rule of boating is always safety, and the easiest thing you can do to ensure you’re protecting yourself and your passengers is to have life vests available. Always make sure this item is near the top of your list for annual yacht maintenance in Fort Lauderdale and be diligent in taking the time to make sure your vessel is equipped with these life-saving amenities.