As a boater, you are required to take certain precautions when you are out on the water. These precautions include paying attention and avoiding noise pollution, keeping your boat clean, and not causing any disturbance to wildlife or sea grasses. You also have a responsibility to watch out for other boaters’ safety and provide assistance when necessary.
There are many safety precautions for boaters that should be considered at all times. These precautions include wearing a personal buoyancy device and being aware of all objects around you. It is important to comply with local regulations, as well as the laws and signage. These safety precautions are simple but can save lives in an emergency.
Make sure you know the boat’s capacity and don’t overload it. It is important to know how heavy all passengers and gear are, including carry-ons. Operator distraction is a major contributing factor in many boating accidents. No matter how much experience a boat driver has, they should always be attentive to their surroundings and remain alert at all time. Having a designated driver is also a good idea. This will allow the designated driver to be present at all times and keep an eye on the boat.
Boating accidents can also be caused by the use of cell phones. Operators should always keep their eyes on the water and avoid texting or talking on their cell phone. This behavior is just as dangerous as texting or talking on a cell phone while driving on the road. It is also important to make sure to stay alert to navigation hazards and make sure the boat is properly anchored.
Always carry a life jacket while boating. Drowning is the most common cause of drowning on the water. It is important to make sure children wear the appropriate life jackets while aboard a boat. In 2011, 60% of children under the age of 13 died due to drowning. You should also ensure that your boat has life jackets, especially if you are out on the open water alone.
Boaters are required to carry a variety of safety equipment, depending on the type of watercraft they own and the jurisdiction they are operating in. These include a whistle or other effective sound signal for identifying the boater and a boat with a visual distress signal that is visible to the public during restricted visibility. Personal flotation devices should be easily accessible and of the right size to fit the user. Boaters must have at least one Type IV throwable device on larger vessels.
The US Coast Guard has published a list of equipment and safety requirements for boaters. While these rules are designed to protect boaters and prevent accidents, there are also additional safety measures that boaters can take to keep themselves and their passengers safe. The list of equipment required by the USCG is considered the minimum federal list. Some states may have additional items. Therefore, it is important to check with state and federal regulations before you go out on the water.
The US Coast Guard recommends boaters have a VHF Radio onboard. A VHF radio not only allows for routine communication with other boats, but it also allows for digital selective calling for emergencies. This is like 911 for boats and helps rescuers determine where you are and the nature of your emergency. Boaters must register for a MMSI number to use this safety equipment.
Avoid collisions with larger vessels
Boaters are required by law not to collide with larger vessels at any time. This is an important part for safe boating. This is because the Rules of the Road require boaters to use all of their available means to determine whether a collision is likely and take positive action to avoid it. In order to avoid collisions, boaters should avoid small changes in their course and keep a safe distance from other vessels. In narrow channels, they should keep their starboard side to reduce collision risk.
Boat collisions are completely avoidable if boaters exercise common sense. Boaters must maintain a constant lookout and radar, and they must understand how to respond to different situations. Boats in motion will often encounter one another very quickly so it is important to act quickly to avoid a collision. Boat A generally has the right of way, while boat B must yield. If a sailboat is involved, however, the rules might be different.
Boat operators should avoid sailing through channels frequented or used by ships if visibility is poor. While big ships are required to operate in deep channels, smaller vessels do not have to. If visibility is poor, a slow boat might not be able to evade large ships.
Wearing a life jacket
Boaters must wear life jackets on the water, as required by federal and state laws. Boats over 16 feet must have a throwable buoy and a life jacket for children under 13 years. Additional state requirements may apply.
A life jacket is required for anyone under 12 years old, operators of PWCs, or anyone being pulled by a boat. The age limit can vary from one state to the next and can be as low as six. However, in Texas, all passengers must wear a USCG-approved life jacket at all times. Similarly, the state of Texas requires personal watercraft operators to carry PFDs for passengers.
Take the time to read all labels before you buy a life jacket. Make sure it fits snugly and securely. It should be easy to inflate or deflate and should last for 16 to 24 hours. It should be free from rips, waterlogging, mildew, and other problems. Life jackets should also be checked for proper fitment and maintenance and stored in a dry area when not in use.
A life jacket can help you avoid drowning and save your life. Make sure you have a life jacket on your boat so it is always in place. You must also explain to your passengers wear safety equipment can be found.
Avoiding intoxicated or drugged boaters
Boating under the influence of alcohol is dangerous and can increase your risk of an accident. It can also affect your ability to make decisions, so it is vital that you make sure you never allow someone to operate your vessel while they’re intoxicated. The Coast Guard and Fish and Game wardens are both actively looking for impaired boaters. Other illegal drugs, such as alcohol, can also impair your judgment.
Boating drunk is especially dangerous, as you can’t see other boats or pre-existing hazards. Intoxicated boaters can’t react to these dangers, and they can’t see the boat in front. Intoxication may also impair your ability to see other dangers, such as undersized or underpowered boats.
In many U.S. waterways, it is illegal to boat while under the influence of alcohol. The laws are different in each state. It is important to know the laws in your state and area. If you’re caught drinking alcohol while operating your boat, you could lose your boating privileges and face heavy fines. Drinking alcohol is already a costly hobby, so boating under the influence of alcohol could result in even greater costs.
Boating under the influence of alcohol is one of the leading causes of fatal boating accidents, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. A staggering number of boaters are under the influence, and many accidents are caused by their intoxication. For this reason, avoiding intoxicated or drugged boaters is essential for the safety of everyone on the water.
Avoid aquatic invasive species
Avoiding aquatic invasive species is important for the health and safety of fisheries and waterways. There are many things you can do to prevent the spread of invasive species. In particular, you should make sure to clean your boat thoroughly and remove any live bait. If possible, you should put it into a trash bag instead of into the water. You should also drain the water from your boat, and watercraft as well as any nearby bodies of water.
You should also remove any debris from your boat before you leave the water. This includes any debris that could harbor larvae of aquatic-invasive species. Also, you should drain all water from your boat’s transom well, motors, and jet drives. After you are done, let it dry for at most 5 days. You should then dispose of it in a protected area or at invasive species disposal points.
You should make sure that you remove all aquatic invasive species from your boat before you leave the water. This will help you protect native species and protect waterways. You can learn more about aquatic invasive species by visiting the DNR’s website. You can also report aquatic invasive species to your local government.
As the population of aquatic invasive species increases, people who visit Wisconsin’s lakes should do their part to keep them from getting out of control. The state’s citizen lake monitoring network, for example, connects over 1000 citizen volunteers throughout the state with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to gather data. The information they collect is then shared with lake associations and with DNR staff.