Safe Boating Guide: For All Occasions
Nothing can compare to taking a boat out onto the clear blue water and sailing away your stresses. With warmer weather comes greater responsibility. Boating, like any activity involving a driver behind the wheel, is accompanied by proper licensing and most importantly avid precaution.
All Aboard - With Your Boating License
Never lose sight of the small stuff, this is particularly important to stress to anyone on board. Like any other boating activity overlooking a small detail can create a much larger problem in the end. Some small tips can include:
- Cleaning up messes immediately to avoid any slipping or falling on the deck.
- Keeping any equipment organized and out of harm’s way.
- Always be prepared – hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, extra clothes in case the weather changes.
- Lifejackets or Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) must be available for everyone on board.
Each passenger should know how to properly use and maintain their PFD and wearing it at all times is of course recommended.
Boating Regulations, PCOC
Keep in mind boating regulations like:
- Having your Pleasure Craft Operator Card on board at all times; also referred to as a Boating License.
- Never operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Please check your provincial regulations for the alcohol laws in your area.
- PFD's must be available for every person on board, and don’t forget about the kids – a properly sized life jacket or PFD is required.
- Lastly, always think ahead – have an undocking plan and go over the details with everyone so there is absolutely no confusion.
S.O.S : Boating Safety in High Stress Situations
Boating accidents can happen – being prepared ahead of time is what will guide anyone to stay calm and know exactly what to do. Keeping a survival kit on board is number 1. No matter the severity, this will aid you in getting through the issue at hand. Have your kit properly stocked with the following:
- First Aid Kit
- A pocketknife and a multi-use tool
- Watertight Flashlight with extra batteries
- Waterproof matches
- Handheld mirror
- Fresh water and food rations
It is possible to minimize your carbon footprint even while boating. Simple guidelines to stay green while on the water include:
- Cleaning the engine regularly, this will reduce fuel and exhaust going into the water.
- Wildlife ordinances are maintained in accordance to environmental needs, avoiding these zones will keep them this way.
- Keeping the water clean by properly removing your trash on land. Pay attention to cigarettes and smaller items, these can lead to an unwanted build up over time.
- Waxing a boat will reduce the amount of washing required to keep the boat clean, also reducing the amount of foreign substances being introduced into the water.
Like any hobby worth investing in, boating makes the top of that list. Devoting your time and enhancing your knowledge will keep you both safe and satisfied for the long run.