A fun summer spent on your boat also means a safe summer on your boat! While boating accidents and deaths aren’t as common as they were a decade ago, these accidents are still happening and there are precautions you should take to ensure all your passengers arrive back to land safe and sound.
Below we’ll highlight what you should do before heading out on the water to keep your passengers safe during this summer’s boating season.
Pay Attention to the Forecast Before Boating
No matter where you plan on boating you need to make sure you are paying attention to the weather forecast. Even if you are boating in an area where storms and torrential weather is rare, make sure to double check the forecast before heading out. Besides just checking the weather before heading out on the water, also pay attention to how the sky looks while you are out on your boat. If you notice a change in the clouds, wind or temperature while you are on your boat, we recommend being safe rather than sorry and getting off the water as soon as possible.
Have a Float Plan
We also make sure you have a float plan in place, especially for longer boating excursions. For your float plan, you will inform a family member or your local marina about your travel itinerary. Share your float plan with this trusted person and give them the following information:
- Contact information of the boat captain or trip leader
- Contact information for all passengers
- Boat type and registration information
- Trip itinerary and times
- Communication types available on the boat
Having a float plan gives your expedition the security of having someone else on land knowing when you are supposed to be back on shore. This way someone will know if your boat didn't arrive back on land when it was supposed to and could be lost or missing.
Check Your Boat’s Light and Boat Accessories
Most importantly, before you go out on the water, you’ll need to make sure that all your boating equipment and boat accessories are operating correctly.
One thing you’ll need to check are the lights on your boat and making sure your boat has the right lighting configuration. If you are planning on boating when the sun is down, you’ll need to make sure your boat is still visible to other boaters. Also, lights on your boat, keep your passengers safe and more able to see while on the boat. There are many different types of safety lights you can add to your boat. These boat light options include:
Besides checking the lights and boat accessories already on your boat, the US Coast Guard requires a minimum of the following boat accessories to keep your boat’s passengers safe at sea:
- Personal flotation devices
- Sound producing devices like a bell or whistle
- Visual distress signals
- Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher
From all of us here at Boat and RV Accessories, we hope you have a fun and safe summer out on your boat this summer! If you have more questions about boat accessories to make sure your boat is safe this summer, contact our team today!