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Boating Safety Tips To Keep You Afloat

August 7th, 2013 Seasonal

If you're taking the boat out to enjoy the last of the warm weather season in the water, it's always a good idea to take a few precautions to make sure no accidents occur. Here are a few tips for boating safety.

Check the weather

Even if there are clear skies in the morning, the afternoon or evening can bring on sudden storms and choppy water. DiscoveryBoating.com recommends checking the forecast for the entire the day to ensure that you'll have smooth sailing. You may also want to contact the Coast Guard to check for any storm warnings.

Review your list

The source also suggests creating a pre-departure checklist for all of your safety equipment. This should include the right amount of life preservers - one for every passenger - sound producing instruments such as a fog horn, distress signals, adequate fuel and oil both in the engine as well as a backup canister, a fire extinguisher and tools for any emergency repairs.

Know boating etiquette

Just like when you're driving, there are rules and etiquette to follow when boating, especially in populated areas. When you pass a slower-moving vessel, according to BoatSafe.com, you should slow down and leave a good amount of distance - this will help minimize rocking the other boat. As you go to dock, remember to enter the area slowly and that during the course of the night your boat will drift and could tangle with another vessel. Leave as much room as you can between your boat and others.

Let someone else know

Before you go out, DiscoverBoating.com suggests that you make a plan and let someone who will be ashore know where you'll be going and what time you'll be back. If you aren't back by the designated time, he or she will be able to alert the authorities in case of an emergency.