With the official start of summer here, and the weather nearing triple digits, it is common to be cooling off out on the water. Whether you are boating, kayaking or even paddle boarding, all can result in a dangerous outcome if you are not well prepared. No matter how experienced you are, it is always a good idea to review some safety rules before you hit the water.
Know the Weather: Bad weather can creep up on you fast, so always be aware of the forecast before going out on the water. In the event of strong changing winds or sudden drops in temperature, use your best judgement and head to shore.
Always Develop a Float Plan: Before you hit the water, have a defined plan. Where you will be going and what you will be in (small blue boat, red kayak), about how long you should be out and various ways of contact if possible. Inform someone on land, whether it be someone at the harbor or a friend of these plans and what to do if things don’t go as planned.
Proper Use of Life-jackets: Use common sense, always wear a life jacket. Make sure the life jacket you are using is appropriate for your weight and fits properly.
Avoid Alcohol: Once again, please use common sense. The chance of a boating accident doubles once alcohol is involved.
Know How to Swim: Whenever you are around bodies of water it is a necessity to know how to swim. According to an American Red Cross survey, only 56% of adults were all to perform all five basic swimming skills.
Water Temperature: Although the weather is currently scorching, the same can’t be said about the water temperature. Double check the temperature and plan accordingly, bring a wet suit if necessary.
Free Vessel Safety Check: The U.S. Coast Guard offers FREE safety inspections for your boat, take advantage of it by clicking the link here.