As a U.S. vessel owner, you must be aware of the safety precautions you must take on and off the water. This blog article will present some crucial suggestions that will assist you in keeping yourself and the people closest to you safe while traveling aboard your boat, regardless of whether you are a beginner or a seasoned owner.
The warm summer weather provides the best conditions for taking your boat out on the open sea. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve owned a boat in the United States before or if this is your first time on the water; it’s crucial to be aware of these safety precautions to keep you and your passengers safe. When you go boating this summer, here are some essential things to remember.
Make Sure Everyone Onboard Is Wearing a Life Jacket
Most boating mishaps and deaths result from carelessness on the part of humans, but even the most experienced skipper may make a mistake. You should get a life jacket if you own a U.S. vessel, even if you don’t plan to go out on the water frequently since you never know when you may have to abandon ship suddenly.
When used correctly, life jackets may save a person’s life in various dangerous circumstances. One may use them to stay afloat if the waves push them off or go overboard, and they can also assist keep them warm if they wind themselves in frigid water. Everyone on board should be adequately wearing their life jacket. The United States Coast Guard provides some excellent advice on choosing and wearing a life jacket, ensuring it fits correctly, and more.
Check Weather Conditions before Heading out And Avoid Going out in Bad Weather
Although the warmer months of the year are ideal for boating, you don’t have to wait till then to go out on the water. To enjoy the weather, those who have access to boats and who live near water should use them. You shouldn’t risk going out if there’s a chance of terrible weather, so if a storm is on the horizon or strong winds are forecast, remain indoors. When strong winds occur, waves also rise, increasing the risk of capsizing U.S. vessels.
When venturing out on a lake or river near shore, be especially wary of how choppy the water is since shallow water produces waves considerably harsher than deep water. Visit their site to get the most up-to-date weather predictions before heading your journey. If you insist on continuing your plans despite a storm warning, be prepared for heavy winds and severe seas by stocking up on safety gear and checking that your U.S. vessel is seaworthy.
U.S. Vessel Sober
Drunk boating is not only against the law but also very dangerous for everyone on board. According to the National Centre for Injury Prevention and Control, half of all fatalities on recreational boats are related to alcohol use. According to the Coast Guard’s data, there are four times as many fatal accidents per mile while boating under the influence. Because of the lack of physical obstacles, it is crucial not to drink and drive on the water.
Call 911 immediately if you see a drunk boat operator, and don’t allow them to leave the dock until aid comes. In no circumstances should anybody on board the boat have consumed alcohol. Alcohol affects judgment and balance, making it very unsafe to consume it anywhere near water. Make sure a sober driver is on hand in an emergency while drinking alcohol socially.
Have an Emergency Communication Device On Board
Everyone, from greenhorns to seasoned seafarers, may benefit from brushing up on their navigational skills. There are numerous potential hazards on the water, so it’s best to be ready for everything. No matter how much experience they have, every ship’s captain has to be prepared to deal with unexpected and everyday maritime circumstances. In all likelihood, you would have some flotation gear on hand if you owned a U.S. vessel.
Life jackets and life rings are an absolute need to stay afloat until aid arrives. However, other safety things should be considered, even if they aren’t on your list. For instance, a marine VHF radio may help you get in touch with other boats or passing ships that may be able to assist you in the event of an emergency. Since most mishaps happen in shallow water and with poor visibility, it’s also wise to have a flare kit in case you ever need help being located.
You can never be too safe on the water. If you’re a new boat owner in the US or want to learn more safety tips and tricks, contact the Maritime Documentation Center for more information.