Water safety is important for all types of aquatic environments, including boating. In fact, drowning is the leading cause of death in boating fatalities. So, what sort of things should boaters learn to do around the water? It’s all about being prepared, educated, responsible and using all three to ensure your time out on the water is enjoyable and safe.
Know your basic water rescue and CPR skills and, this may sound like a weird one since you are surrounded by water, but stay hydrated. People can become pretty parched during a day out on the water. Speaking of the water…don’t swallow it and shower after getting in the water to avoid water-related illness.
If you have anchored to swim around the boat, make sure the engine is off and the boat is secure before you jump in and never swim alone. It’s also a good idea to teach your children a few things before they play in the water, including how to float and how to tread water for at least five minutes. Everyone should build their endurance by being able to swim the very minimum of the length of a standard size pool and back. This may help you get back to the boat or reach the shore in an emergency. Also, being able to turn around while treading water can help you assess your situation and develop an exit strategy.
Responsible boat operation is also essential. Make sure your boat is in good operating condition, know how to operate it before heading out and do not operate it while intoxicated. Obey the rules and postings, watch the weather, stay alert and wear a life jacket or at least make certain that one is quickly and easily accessible for everyone on board.