Boating Safety This San Diego Summer
So many people in our country take their boats and hit the waterways (oceans, lakes, and rivers) every summer. With such outings come safety reminders and responsibility. Too many times the news is filled with stories of boating accidents and/or drownings. By keeping several boating safety rules in mind when we take to the water, we will have endless hours of memorable, SAFE fun for this summer’s boating season and the ones to come.
Boating laws and regulations vary and depend on the area in which boating is taking place. One can learn laws and safety rules by taking a boating safety course (required in some states to operate a boat). Standard boating safety rules include using common sense when operating a boat, avoiding alcohol consumption, use of life-jackets/preservers/vests at all times by all on board the boat, and creating a float plan.
Boating Safety Rules
1) THE USE OF PROPERLY-FITTED LIFE VESTS cannot be stressed highly enough. Studies have repeatedly proven that most of the drowning deaths in boating accidents are deaths to victims who were either not wearing one or were wearing one that may have been improperly fitted.
2) A FLOAT PLAN is a written document that is given to a marina/dock employee or to a family member who is not going on the boating outing. This written plan will detail the time of the excursion, the route for the trip, the destination, individuals who will be on the boat, pertinent medical emergency information, and other information the boat captain feels is necessary.
When operating their boat, a person should remember to
3) FOLLOW ALL POSTED SPEED LIMIT SIGNS AND NAVIGATIONAL AIDS.
4) DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL when operating a boat, as the effects of alcohol are intensified by the effects of the sun and wind. Consumption of alcohol only increases one’s chances of boating mishaps.
If you are launching your vessel from a trailer,
5) PREPARE YOUR BOAT WELL AWAY FROM THE ACTUAL RAMP. Always make sure the drain plug is firmly in place; that will save great headaches for later. Also remember to check fuel levels and add fuel as needed. Running out of fuel will surely dampen the excursion.
6) CHECK TO MAKE SURE THAT ALL REQUIRED SAFETY EQUIPMENT AND THE VESSEL’S REGISTRATION PAPERS ARE ON BOARD.
7) USE AT LEAST TWO EXPERIENCED PEOPLE to launch and retrieve the vessel.
8) DO NOT BLOCK THE RAMP with an unattended boat or vehicle or trailer.
9) DO NOT WASTE TIME! The less time you spend at the dock or at the ramp, the more other boaters will appreciate you. Leave space for others as a courtesy.
10) DO NOT OVERLOAD YOUR BOAT. Excessive weight loads can cause accidents and other unforeseen problems with smooth boat operation. 11) ALWAYS OPERATE BOAT AT SAFE, LEGAL SPEEDS. These should be visibly posted in areas with boat traffic. 12) WATCH OUT FOR LOW WATER AREAS AND SUBMERGED OBJECTS. Enjoy the summer, folks, and be safe on the water!