The definition of responsibly is “in a sensible or trustworthy manner.” We all try to live responsibly by acting responsibly toward others, driving responsibly, raising our children responsibly. If we drink, we try to drink responsibly. Behaving in a responsible manner is also very important when it comes to boating…for a variety of good reasons.
Boating responsibly includes following the rules for captaining a boat. Your boat should be outfitted with all of the safety gear required by law. You should follow the speed limits in no wake and manatee zones. Remain in the designated channels and yield to sailboats, cargo ships, etc. Pay attention to all of the signs posted. Basically, use common sense, caution and drive sensibly so that you, your passengers and all those boating around you will remain as safe as possible.
Boating responsibly also includes being environmentally conscious. The water is home to hundreds of species of marine life…each counting on you to keep their environment clean so that they can survive. So, don’t litter, especially with the plastic that holds soda six packs together. Fish can get caught in them and die. Old fishing line and hooks are also dangerous to marine life. Try to make certain that nothing blows out of your boat, and stow your trash securely so that you can dispose of it once you reach land. For those who love boating, it’s nice to think that the ocean and all that is in it will be there in our future and for the future of our children and grandchildren. It will be if we boat responsibly.