Boating Safety Basics Smyrna GA

While the water can provide endless hours of fun, it can also present dangers you won't find in a grassy park. Even strong swimmers and experienced boaters need to keep the following in mind.

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Boating Safety Basics

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Boating Safety Basics

Keep “dead in the water” just an expression

Basic Safety

While the water can provide endless hours of fun, it can also present dangers you won't find in a grassy park. Even strong swimmers and experienced boaters need to keep the following in mind:

  • Always wear a life jacket , also called personal floatation devices (PFDs). Regardless of your age, most provinces and states require you to have a life jacket on board for each passenger – no exceptions.
  • Children under 13 must wear a Coast Guard-approved PFD (but it's a good idea for water rats of any age)
  • Never drink alcohol if you're the piloting the boat
  • Pay attention to the task at hand. This includes:
    • Watch out for jet skiers
    • Be aware of other boats on the water
    • Turn off the cell phone
  • Don't overload your boat
  • Don't speed. Even though the open water doesn't have a speed limit, exercise common sense. Weather conditions, crowded waters and the number of people onboard should be considered.
  • Always have a passenger serve as a lookout in addition to the operator
  • Watch out for low water areas or submerged objects

PFD - Personal Floatation Devices

It's a sad statistic, but most drowning victims are recovered without a life jacket. Even strong swimmers need to wear a properly secured PFD . It won't do you any good if you can't find it in an emergency or it doesn't stay on when you need it most.

Learn a lesson from The Titanic - make sure you have enough life jackets on board for everyone and in the appropriate sizes. Inflatable water wings, floating seat covers and “noodles” are no replacement for an approved, properly fitting life jacket.

Avoid Alcohol

Drinking and driving don't mix, but on the water this combination is more even more deadly. While boating under the influence is against the law and is strictly enforced, a ticket is the least of your worries. Alcohol doubles the chances of having a fatal boating accident.

Also, penalties for boating under the influence will carry over to your driver's license. A moment of nautical indiscretion could keep you off the road as well as out of the water.

Be in the Know

Regardless of your age, if you're going to be on the water for more than an afternoon, you should enroll in a boater education course first. Since more than half of all boating accidents involve “drivers” between the ages of 26 and 50, the whole family should enroll.

Be Personal WaterCraft (PWC) Savvy


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