This holiday weekend is a busy time out on the water. Recreational boaters from all walks of life will come out to enjoy the beaches, bays, lakes and waterways. It is this time when we must be most cautious. Intoxication, inexperience and oversight account for most on-the-water accidents during these summer months, and we must all beware. First responders become fatigued, equipment is stressed, and routes, on land and sea become strained. That, coupled with a higher volume if incidents can slow emergency response time and thus its effectiveness. Obviously, during these times extra help is brought on in preparation, however, each situation becomes exponentially more complex with the added traffic and increased incidents. That is why it is extremely important to be aware of your surroundings and know what to do in case of an emergency, and never push your vessel or yourself beyond your capabilities.
We cave compiled a list of resources to help refresh and inform everyone about the guidelines and laws that will be enforced during these busy times. Rest assured that the US Coast Guard, State Game Wardens, and local jurisdictions will be out in force to make sure laws are followed and compiled with.
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Be especially careful on personal watercraft.
- Children younger than age 13 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved PFD while underway.
- Enroll in a boater education class.
- Don’t overload your boat.
- Operate at a safe speed.
- Always have a passenger serve as a lookout in addition to the operator.
- Watch out for low water areas or submerged objects.
FAQ about Boat Safety
Personal Water Craft Laws
Buoys and Markers
Free Vessel Safety Check
Create a Float Plan
Navigating Bad Weather
Written by: Urs Schmid