Follow these simple boating safety tips that can mean the difference between a best summer ever boating season and a life-changing boating accident
We love our boat life, but we are also aware that boating safety is an important part of it. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were almost 4,500 recreational boating accidents in 2016 alone, leading to 2,900 injuries and almost $49 million in damages. Fortunately, most boating accidents are preventable.
Check out these boating safety tips so you can remain accident-free this summer.
Stay away from the booze
You may think this sounds like a buzz-kill, but really, it’s for your safety. Operating a boat under the influence is illegal in all 50 states, and the legal limit for operating a boat is a .08 BAC. Reaching that level would take two drinks for a 120-pound woman and five drinks for a 240-pound man. If you haven’t eaten much, take certain medications, or are dehydrated, you could reach the legal limit even faster.
Boating Safety Tip: Do yourself a favor and skip the beer in favor of a drink of water.
Always wear a life jacket
This one may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at the number of people who go out on a boat without the proper safety attire. In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard estimates that life jackets could have saved around 80% of the lives lost in boating fatalities, which amounts to about hundreds of people every year.
Boating Safety Tip: Get a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket and make sure you actually wear it!
Watch the weather
The weather is certainly an unpredictable factor in your boating adventures, but there are signs and forecasts that can give you a good idea on what the water will be like. Never leave the dock before you check the forecasts, and always bring a radio with you to continuously check for the inclement weather while you’re on the water.
Boating Safety Tip: If you notice sudden choppy waves, dark skies, or a shift in the wind, head back and get off the water as soon as possible.
Between 2013 and 2017, there were roughly 13.28 million people living in households that owned a boat in the United States. If you’re one of those people, make sure you follow these boating safety tips this summer. Summer is all about having fun, but you won’t be having much fun if you get hurt.
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