Going out on the water should be a fun and enjoyable experience. When you hit the open water, you want to be able to focus on the thrill of the catch and the beauty of the ocean. Unfortunately, like any boating activities, offshore fishing comes with inherent risks. From environmental hazards to electrical concerns, there are many ways to get hurt on a boating trip. By focusing on these areas of boating safety before you go out on the water, you can spend more time on what really matters: Catching the big fish!
Check the weather before you go
One of the biggest boating safety hazards are unexpected weather conditions. Though the sky may look perfectly blue when you leave the dock, conditions can change quickly so it’s important to be prepared ahead of time. If you notice anything strange once you’re out on the water, such as a sudden drop in temperature or dark clouds rolling in, always err on the side of caution by getting off the water ASAP.
Use your best judgment
Many boating safety tips come down to simple common sense: Don’t travel too fast, avoid alcohol so that you can remain alert and observant at all times, and steer clear of big boats that will have a harder time getting out of the way than you will. And always be sure to respect buoys which have been placed for your safety. By thinking things through and using your head, you’ll be better positioned to avoid major hazards.
Make use of lifejackets
The vast majority of deaths that occur while boating are due to the fact that victims weren’t wearing a lifejacket. Ensure that you choose the right type of life vest for your conditions and be sure that everyone on board is assigned a lifejacket before departure.
Get your boat checked
Did you know that the US Coast Guard offers free vessel safety checks to ensure the safety of your boat? During the examination the inspector will analyze the condition of your onboard safety equipment and offer advice and recommendations for how to stay safe on the water.
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Adapted from: http://www.discoverboating.com/beginner/safety/tips.aspx