Unfortunately, accidents do happen all the time to pleasure boaters. They either aren't prepared to deal with them or they don't have the right equipment to do so.
Below are some tips and advice for boating safety.
It's an interesting fact that less accidents happen on rental boats because rental boats are put through regular safety checks before each outing. They are also stocked with the proper working equipment like GPS, Radios and other communication devices.
Be knowledgeable on the US Coast Guard minimum requirements for boating
You should always be aware of which comm's equipment is available and know how to use it. A radio won't be very helpful if you don't know what channel the USCG is on.
Know your plan ahead of time. Event though things may come up at the spur of the moment, you should have a rough idea of where you are heading. Also be sure to communicate this with friends or family back home and when they can expect you back.
Check out the marine weather forecast before throwing off the lines. You should know to avoid bad weather patterns. Better safe than sorry. Although the only upside to going through bad weather is that if you don make it back alive, at least you can write a book about your boating experience.
Have marine charts of the places you plan on boating to. Charts are a necessity when traveling through unknown waters. You can even find charts online.
Be sober when boating. When you combine drinking, summer heat, the spray off the water and driving a boat which you may not be familiar with, the waterways get dangerous quickly. This is why government agencies take Boating Under the Influence (BUI) very seriously.
Fines range from $500-$1000 for your first offense. These penalties go up to a $10,000 and up plus jail time if this is the cause of another person's injury or death. Be careful out there.
In conclusion, safety is of the utmost priority when you're out on the open water.
Have fun and be safe.
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