5 boating safety tips

When out at sea, it's always important to be mindful of your own safety so that you don't end up in dangerous situations—no matter how much experience you've had. Here are some safe-boating tips that will help make sure you stay safe while out on the water.

5 boating safety tips

1. Pay attention to the weather

It's important to be aware of what the weather is going to be like when you're heading out on the water. Check local weather conditions before you head out. The TV and radio and weather apps you have on your phone are great ways to check out what's going to happen in your area. If you see clouds getting dark and sense a change in temperature or wind direction, it's a good idea to play it safe and head into shore.

2. Bring safety gear

Make a checklist for the safety gear that you'll need before you head out. That way you'll be sure that you won't forget any of the essentials you need to stay safe. You should have enough life jackets for everyone on board, a compass, goggles, sunglasses, GPS tools, food and water with you while you're sailing.

3. Make sure someone knows where you are

Be sure to include a friend or family member in your plan so that you're sure someone knows where you are while out at sea. When you're ready to set sail, provide someone close to you with your name, address and phone number so that people can reach you. You should also leave your boat type, registration information and your trip itinerary.

4. Don't drink

Drinking alcohol is a bad idea when you're out boating. Drinking increases your probability of being involved in a boating accident and the effects of alcohol are also increased by spending time in the sun. It's best to stay as safe as possible by waiting until you're back on solid ground to have a drink.

5. Take a course

Beginner boaters should take a course on boating so that they're aware of the potential boating hazards. Get informed on subjects like the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and learn mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in the event of an emergency. Many local community courses and online courses are available, so take the time to learn more about boating safety.

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