Boating is a fun way to get out of the house in the summer. Instead, you’re fishing, water skiing, or just enjoying the view – a boat is a way to go! Boating comes packed full of fun, but it also comes with plenty of room for potential danger. Staying safe on the water is essential not only for yourself but your family too.

Stay Sober

Driving a boat under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car under the influence. You shouldn’t use to consume alcohol or any other substances if you plan to drive a boat. Not only are you putting yourself and your passengers at risk, but you’re also breaking the law! Operating a ship drunk is a federal crime in every state. The atmosphere on the water makes it difficult to judge distance, speed, and so much more. Alcohol slows your reaction time down and impairs judgment.

Use Life Jackets

Life jackets are essential for boating safety. They may be bulky and take away from your style during the trip, but they’ll save your life. The coast guard requires that all boat passengers have a life jacket on board in case of an emergency. Even though the law doesn’t require you to have the life jacket on at all times, we highly recommend that you do. A boating accident can quickly catch you by surprise and throw you into the water before you have time to put one on. Many thin and flexible life jackets are available for purchase too so that your mobility isn’t restricted. You must wear a life jacket if you plan to jet ski or participate in other water sports.

Plan Your Trip

A boating trip needs to be thoroughly planned for safety. You should map out a route for your trip, as well as a rescue point in case something goes wrong. Do a once over on the boat, refuel, and ensure no maintenance needs to be done. Be sure to pack extra drinking water, nonperishable food items, and other supplies in case your trip takes longer than expected.
If you have any safety questions regarding your boating trip, there are plenty of resources available. The coast guard can even perform a safety check of your boat for free! Practice proper boating safety and teach your children why it’s so important. Get out on the water and have a blast, but don’t forget your sunscreen!