Considered as one of the most common leisure activities and one of the most exciting things to do for families, boating has grown as an industry all over the world. This is especially true for coastal areas where water activities are a big part of recreation. But despite all the fun that is involved in this, it's crucial to observe safety regulations for the benefit of everyone in the boat. With summer looming in and boating plans underway, read on for some safety tips that might just save a life during times of emergency.
Enroll in a boating course
It is best to take a course for boating before you embark on your first journey. This is especially important if you are planning to charter your own boat to traverse the waters nearby. You will learn about the basic rules, do’s and don’ts, and how to control the boat so as not to disrupt other people who are in the area. Remember that when you are boating, you are not alone in the water. Research, prepare and be aware of your surrounding always.
Research about boating law and regulations
When you plan to go boating or fishing across different places, remember to take some time to do your research about regulations of certain States, countries, and local areas. Each one has their own restrictions, so learning about them before any trip will save you a whole lot of trouble in the long run. The last thing you want is to get entangled with the law while having your vacation. Know about signs, no-go zones, how to properly conduct yourself while on a boat charter, especially if it is not in your local territory.
Know about distress and sound signals
Communication is always the key. Whether you want to signal another boat to move to avoid a collision, or if you're sending out an SOS for distress, knowing the proper way to send out these signals can save your life easily. Signals are the key to communicating with other boats and the best way to navigate through waters that are busy with boat traffic. If you know them, you are one step closer to a safe and emjoyable trip, no matter where you might go.
Prepare for weather changes
Although there are weather predictions everywhere, the daily report isn't foolproof. There are times when the weather can suddenly change for the worse while you are boating in the middle of a body of water. If this happens, you’ve got to have a back-up plan on what to do. Whether it’s hot or cold, make sure that you have enough supplies on your boat so that you are not in any way unprepared. After all, preparation is the best way to avert disaster.
Equip the boat with life jackets
One of the most important safety protocols is to have enough life jackets and even lifeboats on board for all passengers in case there is an emergency. This is true for all boats, big or small. While others may complain that they are able to swim, water conditions are not always ideal. There may be strong currents, or you may get tired of swimming. But with a life jacket on, you have the assurance that you will float to safety. There is no such thing as being too prepared.
Don’t neglect boat maintenance
Like how you give regular maintenance to a car, it is also imperative to do the same to boats. Both are essential for transportation, and without regular maintenance, you might end up stuck in the middle of nowhere. This is also part of the safety regulations for almost all States when it comes to boating. You do not let your machine overwork without giving it time to rest, because this can only lead to disastrous results along the way. Whether you do it yourself or you intend to hire a professional to do it, have a regular schedule for your boat maintenance to avoid hassles in the future. Most accidents are caused by defective machinery so don’t wait for small glitches to become bigger problems later.
Bring a boating companion
Having another set of hands and eyes while you are boating will ensure that you double-check everything. If you happen to miss a signal or sign along the way, then your lookout can inform you immediately. In case anything happens, you will have someone who can step up and lead so that your trip does not take a turn for the worst. A companion will not only be fun, but it will ensure an obvious backup plan if there is any need to take some action.
If there is a time to be careful, it should be when you are in unfamiliar territories. Water conditions can be different for every place, and this should pose some caution for those who are beginners and experts alike. There may be other boats in the area traveling in the same path, so maneuvering yours on the defensive side will be the best strategy. Don’t be in a rush, look for signs and other signals that may be cause for alarm for risk. Remember that safety should always be a priority whenever you are boating in a new area.
These tips are only some of the most important things to note down when chartering a boat. Whether you are the one operating it or not, it is best to keep in mind precautions to avoid trouble while you are on a relaxing trip. There are so many things to learn about boating. It is one of the most exciting activities and is perfect for fun adventures with friends and family. Bring your camera, take those pictures, relax, and enjoy the breeze while you’re at it. For more tips and guides on going on an adventure, check out Trip101.