Observing the safety tips offered below will likely assist you in your efforts to protect yourself and others as you enjoy your surroundings.
There are thousands of recreational boating accidents per year. Contributing factors to these accidents include traveling too fast for water or weather conditions, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, failing to follow boating rules and regulations, carelessness and inexperience.
To prevent boating accidents, we offer these safety suggestions
Care and protection of vessel
1. Check weather forecasts before heading out.
2. Let someone know where youíre going and when you expect to return.
3. Check engine, fuel, electrical and steering systems, especially for exhaust-system leaks.
4. Carry one or more fire extinguishers, matched to the size and type of boat. Keep them readily accessible and in condition for immediate use.
5. Equip the vessel with required navigation lights and with a whistle, horn or bell.
6. Consider additional safety devices, such as a paddle or oars, a first-aid kit, a supply of fresh water, a tool kit and spare parts, a flashlight, flares and a radio.
Care and protection of crew and guests
1. Make sure that every person on board the boat wears a life-jacket.
2. Know and obey marine traffic laws, the “Rules-of-the-Road.” Learn various distress signals.
3. Keep an alert lookout for other watercraft, swimmers, floating debris and shallow waters.
4. Pay attention to loading. Donít overload; distribute the load evenly; donít stand up or shift weight suddenly in a small boat; and donít permit riding on the bow, seatbacks or gunwales.
5. Don’t operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Skippers can obtain free advice and boating-safety courses from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Upon request, the auxiliary will conduct a Courtesy Marine Examination (CME) on your boat, checking electrical and safety equipment and fuel hoses. Boats meeting safety standards are awarded the CME decal “Seal of Safety.”
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Safe Driving Guidelines
For your own safety and that of others, we encourage you to observe the following guidelines as you drive your recreational vehicle:
- allow yourself sufficient time to drive to your intended destinations so that your good judgment is not undermined by haste and carelessness
- wear your seat belt if one is provided
- know and obey the laws on the water or roads
- drive defensively, paying close attention to how others are driving
- keep plenty of distance between you and other motorized vehicles
- keep your recreational vehicle appropriately serviced to avoid mechanical failure that could endanger you or others