Boat Safety Tips

Basic Safety Tips To Be Followed By All Boaters

It is important for everyone onboard to pay attention to what is going on and to follow basic boat safety at all times. In light of the above mentioned guidelines, the following represents basic safety tips that should be taught to and followed by all who will be boating.

Always wear your lifejacket or personal flotation device that is the appropriate size for your weight and that is approved by the Department of Transportation. Indeed, always having your lifejacket on is one of the key survival techniques for boat safety if the boat has capsized or if you or another boater have fallen overboard.

  • Make sure all passengers on the boat stay sober.
  • Take a boating course with an experienced teacher or an authorized dealer.
  • Obey all of the local, state, and national boating laws and regulations.
  • Get your boat checked by the Coast Guard Auxiliary or by a certified boat technician such as Caicos Marina & Shipyards
  • Keep a watchful eye in order to avoid collisions with other skiers, swimmers, boats, watercraft, or with foreign objects partially submerged or floating in the water.
  • Always operate the boat in a responsible manner and at a safe speed. Be watchful for bad weather and seek shelter when inclement weather approaches.
  • Drive with the proper lights and with extreme caution after dark.
  • Remember to hold onto your boat if it capsizes, or at least stay as close to the boat as possible.
  • With a craft that is 5.5 meters long or shorter, always remember to have the following onboard: personal floatation devices for everyone, oars, a sounding device, a bailer, and a fire extinguisher.
  • Wear the correct gear. This not only means your lifejacket or personal floatation device, but also sunglasses, sunscreen, and proper clothing.
  • Flares, visual distress signals, paddles or oars, whistles or other sounding devices, and a backfire flame arrester are also important items to include as appropriate boating gear.
  • Be courteous of others who are involved in water activities and follow all local, state, and federal boating rules and regulations.
  • Remember the following about boating with children: (a) Children under 12 years old must be supervised by an adult when the child operates a boat with a motor that has more than 10 horsepower; (b) Children must be at least 16 years old in order to operate jet skies. (c) Children 12 to 15 years old must be supervised by an adult when the child operates a boat with motor that has more than 40 horsepower.
  • Never stand up in a canoe, small powerboat (such as a ski boat, fishing boat, racing boat, or wakeboard boat) or any other small watercraft.
  • Don’t overload the boat beyond its load restrictions or capacity. This includes not only the number and weight of the passengers onboard, but also the weight of the gear. Following these guidelines will help you avoid capsizing the boat.
  • Before any boating outing, the fuel supply, boat engine, equipment, and balance should be thoroughly checked. Be watchful for other skiers, boaters, and swimmers and always have an experienced onboard observer for water skiers. Keep a safe distance from other boats and watercraft.
  • Have an experienced boater or certified trainer show you basic boating techniques such as how to slow down, speed up, steer, and dock.
  • Make sure your boat has all the required and recommended safety gear and equipment onboard.
  • Making a checklist of required gear and equipment will help you quickly check all of the items on the list before each outing. Doing so will help you have everything you will need for the outing.
  • Before an outing, check the local weather forecast and take a portable radio onboard so that you can check on the weather after you embark.
  • Look at all of the electrical components for faulty connections or corrosion.
  • Physically inspect all of the belts and lines for excessive wear or for leaks.
  • Make sure that everyone onboard has a lifejacket or personal flotation device that is the appropriate size for their weight and that is Department of Transportation approved.
  • After refueling, always let the fuel system ventilate before starting the engine.
  • A boat should always have the following extra safety gear onboard: matches, flashlights, batteries, a map, flares, sunscreen, and a first aid kit. Additionally, all of these items should be kept in a watertight container.
  • Make sure to check the water conditions of your destination before you disembark.
  • Learn distress signals. In addition to having the proper safety gear and equipment, it is important to know how and when to use different distress signals.

Source: - Wednesday Oct 26th