When it comes to boating, safety is the number one priority. With the summer months seeing higher fatalities and accidents on the waterways, it's imperative that all boat owners, captains, and renters educate themselves on safety methods and resources. Here are our top tips for summer safety - and for more information, you can check out a plethora of articles on boating safety in our Resource Center.
We've partnered with Kalkomey for their insight as well as these top 5 safety tips.
Always Wear a Life Jacket
Wearing a life jacket while boating is the easiest way to prevent tragedies when out on the water. 76% of fatal boating accident victims drowned; 84.5% of whom were not wearing a life jacket. Simply stowing life jackets on board your vessel is not an appropriate solution. Accidents happen quickly and leave no time for finding and putting on stowed-away life jackets. Always wear your life jacket.
Leave the Beer at the Pier
If you want to enjoy beverages onboard your boat rental, it's crucial to hire a captain to drive the boat. Captained charters are a fantastic solution to this issue, never drink while driving a boat. Alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Don’t be another statistic – save the alcoholic beverages for later or arrange for a captain to take you around.
The majority of accidents on the water involve collisions with recreational vehicles (and fixed objects), and excessive speed was a top contributing factor in these accidents. Be sure to obey the rules of the waterways, keep your head on a swivel, and watch your speed. Having awareness of everyone and everything around you is going to prevent problems from arising while navigating.
Don’t Slack on Your Boat’s Maintenance
Out of all of the boating accidents that occurred in 2017, machinery failure was the fourth-largest contributing factor. Check your boat’s oil level and coolant level before every trip to avoid common problems out on the water. It's also good for preventing large expenses down the road - if you can catch a small problem with your boat, you can fix it before it turns into a much bigger, more expensive problem.
Take a Boater Safety Course
In 2017, 81% of fatal boating accidents occurred on boats where the operator did not have sufficient boating safety instruction. If you haven’t taken a boater safety course in a while, now is a great time to refresh your memory. Interactive boat safety courses are brand new to the market and play like a video game.
If you have any boating safety tips or questions about your rental or charter, don't hesitate to send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Statistics courtesy of uscgboating.org