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Summer is finally here, and that means boating season is once again in full swing. But are you ready to hit the water? To find out if you’re prepared and equipped to take the boat out this summer, check out these seven boating safety tips as a helpful reminder.
Boating safety tip number one — alcohol and boating don’t mix. When you’re operating a motor vehicle, whether on or off the water, you should avoid drinking. The probability of being in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved, especially when you mix in the sun and heat. Impaired boating falls into the same section of the Canadian Criminal Code as impaired driving does!
Before you head out on the water, make sure you know what type of weather to expect. Check TV forecasts and weather specific websites to find the estimated forecast during your trip. If rain and high winds are in the forecast, or if the sky has suddenly darkened and the temperature has dropped, it’s best to play it safe and wait until the conditions improve.
Always be sure to let someone know where you’re going and how long you plan to be gone for. Providing basic information such as your itinerary, contact details and the boat details can help ensure that someone will notify the authorities if you’ve been gone too long or can’t be reached.
Never take off without doing a circle check of your boat. Look inside to make sure you have your Pleasure Craft Operator card and boat insurance on hand, the proper number of lifejackets, the legal safety equipment, as well as an emergency and First Aid kit. You should also check outside the boat to see if the current water level is deep enough and that there are no potential hazards surrounding your boat that could cause damage.
It’s one thing to have a life jacket in the boat, but it’s useless if you never put it on. Most drowning accidents that occur are the result of people not wearing their lifejackets. If the boat tips, flips, or hits something suddenly and you enter the water, you may not be able to get access to a lifejacket when you need it. So wear it at all times when you’re out on the water.
Slowing down and stopping on the water is much more difficult than it is on the road. So be cognizant of your speed and operate at slower speeds when passing other boats and edging near land. The more in control you are, the easier it will be to avoid any unexpected obstacles that may arise.
Buoys and navigational aids have been put there for a reason – to ensure your safety. Each one serves an important function to help you avoid danger and proceed safely. So know what all the safety beacons are and follow them accordingly when you’re boating this summer.
Keep your summertime accident free when you’re out on the water by remembering these important boating safety tips. And if something unfortunate happens and you become involved in a boating accident, contact us right away at Zuber Brioux so we can help protect your rights and get you the financial support you need.