- Make sure there is adequate safety equipment on-board the boat.
- Maintain the boat and all safety equipment properly.
- Load passengers and gear carefully.
- Take an accredited boat safety course.
- Be watchful and vigilant.
- Maintain a safe speed.
- Follow all boating and navigation rules.
Be Aware of Weather Forecasts
Severe thunderstorms can erupt quickly, turning even the most beautiful days into dangerous conditions. When you see fast-moving, black clouds approaching, it’s usually too late to get back to shore safely. Before leaving the dock, always check the weather forecast and be mindful of the possibility of severe weather.
Provide All Passengers with Life Jackets
Every passenger on your boat should have a life jacket. Keep life jackets in easily accessible locations. Keep them out of sealed packages and out of locked or closed storage spaces. Life jackets should be inspected frequently to ensure that they are free of rips, tears, and other flaws.
Regularly Maintain and Inspect Your Boat
Boat safety starts even before you leave the dock. Check your boat for fuel leaks and that all components are in functioning order before venturing out on the water.
Don’t Drink and Boat
Alcohol hinders your ability to safely drive a boat, just as it does while driving a car. Dehydration is another side effect of drinking alcohol, which is compounded by being in the sun all day. Alcohol intake can also cause dizziness, which, when combined with the swaying of a boat, can increase the risk of falling overboard.