Boating is a leisurely activity that nearly everyone can enjoy—after all, a lazy Saturday or Sunday afternoon out on the water can make the entire world melt away. Whether your relaxation is achieved by zooming around the water in a speed boat, waiting for the fish to bite in a bass boat or pulling yourself along in a canoe or kayak, boating is the way to go. But what about when things go wrong? There are many different problems that can occur out on the water. So, it’s important to make sure that you’re ready to handle anything and everything that comes your way so you can avoid disaster and keep your boating sessions all about relaxation and having a good time with the people you love out.
Here are some things you should consider every time you go out on the water:
- Life jackets are an important part of keeping yourself and the people you love safe while you’re out on the water. Wearing a life jacket can cut your chances of drowning in the event you’re dumped into the lake or river by half. Always wear your life jacket every time you go out on the water and make sure that it is properly fastened at all times.
- Never drink alcohol while you’re out on the water. Drinking alcohol while you’re operating any kind of vehicle is a bad idea because it affects your ability to think. According to recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol is involved in more than 33 percent of all fatalities that happen in recreational boating accidents.
- Get a boating certification. Anyone can buy a boat. But in order to avoid serious accidents you need to know how to operate your boat, and there’s more to it than just backing it up into the water and hopping in. A certification course can help you learn everything you need to know about boating safety for your vessel and what to do in case of an emergency on the water.
Never forget, keeping yourself safe is also about following local regulations. Always check with your local and state government offices and the local ranger before heading out on the water. It could save your life.