Boat Smart – 17 Tips for Staying Safe This Summer

Posted by Rebecca Prince on August 16, 2016

Boat Safety BlogAs Southeast Texans, we love our water sports.  When temperatures get hot, there’s nothing like cruising down the Neches, spending a lazy day fishing at the lake, or hitting the waves on your jet ski at Crystal Beach.

We’re itching to go just thinking about it – and we bet you are too!  So without further ado, here are 17 Tips for Staying Safe on your Boat This Summer.

Before you Set Sail

  1. Take Boaters Education Course from Texas Parks and Wildlife. Make it a family activity!
  2. Share your “float plan” with a friend of family member. Let them know where you plan to go and about what time you’ll return.
  3. Give your boat a good inspection before getting on water. Check the engine, lights, look for any electrical issues, run the blowers, and test your radio / any community devices.
  4. Keep a close eye on the weather and review local boating forecasts.
  5. Don’t forget to check your fuel and fill up if necessary

What to Bring Aboard

  1. Personal flotation devices (PFD’s) or life jacks for you and each passenger.
  2. Boat Certificate and registration
  3. Towing policy paperwork (if you have one)
  4. Fire extinguisher
  5. Emergency kit

Staying Safe on the Water

  1. Don’t try to pack people on your boat! Stick to the number that your vessel will safely allow.
  2. Avoid alcohol! We’re not trying to spoil your fun, but driving a boat under the influence is just as dangerous as driving a car after drinking.  The likelihood of you becoming involved in a fatal accident doubles.
  3. Be aware of your surrounding and take care in crowded areas.
  4. Use your common sense and operate at a safe speed. Although there are no speed limits, you can still get a citation.
  5. Designate a backup “captain” in case of emergency
  6. Turn off your engine while your passengers are loading / unloading for wakeboarding, tubing, waterskiing, or swimming
  7. Make sure your passengers are seated properly while your boat is in motion

Safe boating is a pretty complex topic.  For more resources, check out Texas Parks and Wildlife, Travelers Insurance, and the U.S. Coast Guard sites.  We wish you a safe and fun-filled summer out on the water!

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