Capsized Boat

SMART TIPS TO AVOID ACCIDENTS WHEN BOATING

When you’re on a boat, it’s easy to get carried away. Despite being a lot of fun, boating is very dangerous. Since you’re out on the water and far away from land, help can be hard to come by in case you’re involved in an accident. That makes it all the more important to follow safety precautions to avoid boating accidents, which can lead to tragic consequences such as serious injuries or death.

Here are are a few tips based on my years of experience.

CONDUCT PROPER MAINTENANCE

As a boat owner, it’s essential to conduct regular maintenance. You should also ensure that the boat is in good working condition before heading out to the waters. Some of the things to check are signs of fuel leakage, faulty battery, anchor condition and malfunctioning navigation lights.

WATCH THE WEATHER

Before leaving the dock, check the weather and water conditions once again. Don’t continue with your boating trip if bad weather is imminent. Aside from the news on the TV and radio, you can check the Internet for weather updates.

If you’re already out on the water, you should still keep track of the weather. Conditions can change very rapidly, so you should always be aware of your surroundings. A radio will allow you to receive updates. You can also look out the window and observe the skies. Fog, dark clouds, drops in temperature and a falling barometer are some of the signs you must look out for.

If you sense that poor weather is imminent, head to land as soon as possible. Even if you’re an experienced boater, it’ll be tough to operate the vessel in these conditions.

PAY ATTENTION

Only those who have adequate skill and experience should be operating boats. Always be aware of your surroundings and have someone who is also watching the behaviour of your passengers. Where possible, have help because when you are operating a boat, you really want to keep those distractions down.

NO ALCOHOL

We don’t drink and drive, so why pilot or captain under the influence?

DO NOT SPEED

When you are moving along at a faster pace, it is harder to react in time when you need to. You’ll also save a lot of fuel by cruising along at slower speeds. Know the best cruising speed of your boat engine. I can guarantee you that speed will not be fast for the average recreational boat.

COMPLETE SAFETY EQUIPMENT

This includes a fire extinguisher, flares, horns, a whistle, first aid kit and a ditch bag. You may also want to have an alternative propulsion method, such as an extra electric motor or a canoe paddle.

LIFE JACKETS

The moment you leave the land and head out, you should already be wearing a life jacket. Life jackets must be properly fitted to the wearer. Life jackets are not a choice, they are a requirement by law.

When you’re in the water, even the slightest mistake or carelessness can have dire consequences. To keep your boating trips fun and enjoyable, it’s a must to follow safety precautions and always use your common sense.

 


 

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John Steele
johnsteele@dinga.com.au

John loves cooking at home and outdoors, travelling, fishing and discovering a new life. He's got loads of experience he wants to share while he adventures through retirement.