Summer is (almost) back! This month we celebrate getting outdoors to spend time with loved ones on the water, on the beach, and beyond. That said, it is very important to brush off the dust on our boating safety awareness.
This week is the National Safe Boating Week, which is a great opportunity for all of us to brush off the dust on our boating safety awareness.
When our minds are set on safety, we are much more alert and mentally prepared for an on-water incident, and sometimes we can even prevent these incidents from occurring, to begin with. If an incident does occur, acting fast is key to preventing an escalation to a big catastrophe that can end up with fatalities.
At the beginning of the season I recommend taking the following steps to get yourself back in shape quickly:
- Follow steps to review, replenish and test your boat’s safety equipment - you can read more in my article “How to Commission Your Boat to The Upcoming Boating Season”.
- Consider getting a free Vessel Safety Check from the US Coast Guard Auxiliary or US Power Squadrons. Find out more at SafetySeal.net.
- If you are planning to cruise multiple days, whether offshore or coaster, make sure to practice crew overboard drills with or without your crew - it’s a skill that we rarely use, so practicing it at least once a year is important to keep it fresh in our minds.
- Make sure to be completely focused, and attentive, and keep a lookout while underway, as well as while anchoring.
The following table was extracted from the 2020 Recreational Boating Statistics report that was published by the US Coast Guard Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety in June 2021:
The numbers clearly show that unaware boaters (for example, not wearing/requiring passengers to wear a life jacket, inattention, inexperience, not maintaining lookout, and more) - are likely to get into hazardous situations that can end up in fatalities.
Let’s take boating safety seriously, so we can continue to enjoy our time on the water and come back home safely!