Spending a day on the water is a great way to bond with friends and family while enjoying the outdoors. However, if you don’t have a keen eye for safety, a relaxing day can quickly become a source of stress.
Every time you step on a boat, take these safety precautions and encourage your companions to do the same.
Wear a Life Jacket
Even if you fancy yourself a strong swimmer, put on a Coast Guard-approved life jacket every time you board a boat. Currents can be deceptively strong! Should you accidentally fall into the water, the life jacket will help keep you afloat and visible to other passengers.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol Consumption
While a refreshing grown-up beverage is nice to enjoy as a boat passenger, try not to drink to excess while on the water. Alcohol dulls your senses and slows your reaction time. When an emergency occurs, you won’t be of much help if you’re intoxicated. If you’re the one operating the boat, don’t drink at all. Boating while intoxicated (BWI) is a serious crime.
Know Proper Rescue Procedures
Before you board a boat of any kind, know what to do in an emergency situation. If another passenger falls overboard, be prepared to follow appropriate rescue procedures to get them back on board safely.
Know Basic First Aid
Make sure the boat you’re boarding has a fully-stocked first aid kit, and know what to do with it if someone gets hurt! Consider taking a first aid course so you can learn how to dress wounds and stabilize sprains.
If anybody aboard your boat has severe allergies, know how to use an EpiPen.
Boating is a relaxing hobby that allows you to spend time with loved ones and soak up the fresh air. However, as with any outdoor activity, it also carries a few risks with it. Exercise common sense and good judgment while on the boat, and keep these safety precautions at the forefront of your mind.