Summer is here, which means weekends and afternoon in a boat and on a lake or river.
When it comes to family time and relaxation, it is hard to beat enjoying the nice weather while on the water. However, it is imperative to remember that boating isn’t all fun and games: each year, hundreds of people are killed and many more are injured in boat accidents. In many cases, these boating accidents are completely preventable.
Here we include the five important boat safety tips for this summer.
- Always wear your life jacket. According to Texas law, all children under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket while on a boat, and all adults must have a life jacket on board while boating. However, to greatly increase your safety while boating, wear your life jacket at all times.
- Know how to operate your boat. A large number of boating accidents occur because of operation errors – the person driving the boat simply didn’t know how to safely maneuver the boat, dock the boat, or use the boat’s anchor. Before you leave sure, make certain that you know how to safety operate your vessel.
- Even on water, speeding kills. There’s no speed limit on the water, right? In fact, there is often a speed limit in busy areas, and even when there is no speed limit you should know that high speeds kill, even in boats. By speeding, you risk colliding with another boat, colliding with an object, or capsizing.
- Never drink alcohol and boat. Just as on Texas roads and highways, drinking is associated with a large percentage of injuries and fatalities. Drinking on a boat is especially dangerous, because exposure to the sun, the wind, and the vibrations and movements of the boat can intensify the affects of alcohol.
- Check the weather. Read a weather report before leaving on your boating trip and bring a radio along with you to listen for approaching dangers, such as high winds and severe storms. Also look for signs of changing weather, such as wind shifts, choppy water, approaching dark clouds, and distant lightening.