Safe Boating and Beach Safety Week
The weather is warming up and summer will be here before we know it. That means more time out at the beach and on the water in your boat. Boating and beach safety should always be a priority so that you, your family, and your friends have a good time that doesn’t end badly.
Safe Boating and Beach Safety Week is May 22 through May 29 this year. Use this time to check your boating and beach gear and make sure you know how to keep everyone safe on the water and on shore. Follow our tips to keep everyone safe.
No matter what kind of boat you have or where you plan to sail, safety should be your number one priority. Here’s how you can keep your boat outing fun with less worry.
- Check the weather before you get on the water to avoid storms rolling in. If you see dark clouds coming in while you’re out on the water, get to shore as quickly as you can.
- Use a pre-departure checklist to make sure you don’t forget anything. Some of what will be on it includes making sure you have enough life jackets, flares, and batteries.
- Have a second adult who can help you as an assistant. They can step in if you get hurt or sick while out on the water. They should know how to steer the boat, where to find your emergency kit, and how to use the communication system.
- Use life jackets during your trip. Make sure you have the right sizes for everyone on board, including infants and children.
- Make sure you and everyone else on board knows how to swim or has an adult who can stay with them, if a child is still learning.
- Don’t drink and boat. Your chances of being in an accident on the water double when alcohol is on board.
- Create a float plan and share it. Either someone at the dock or a friend on shore needs to know where you’re going, the names and contact information of everyone on board, the type of boat you have, and what kind of communication equipment you’re using. If you don’t come back on time, this will be extremely important information to help others find you.
- Apply sunscreen and reapply several times while you’re out on the water to avoid bad sunburns.
- Get a free vessel safety check from the US Coast Guard. They’ll make sure you have the proper safety equipment and give you advice on how to make your boat even safer.
Most people think a day out on the beach is fairly safe. What could go wrong on the sand and in relatively shallow water? More than you may realize.
- Check flags and signs on the beach to let you know the water conditions. Stay out of the water if conditions are dangerous: jellyfish, riptides, sharks, etc.
- If you get caught in a riptide, swim to the side until you’re out of it or try to tread water. Do not swim against it. Drowning is a very real possibility.
- Choose beaches with lifeguards. Your chances of drowning go down significantly when they’re present.
- Avoid alcohol while you’re swimming. It’s easy to make a mistake and be unable to get back to shore.
- If you use a floating raft, don’t take it too far out. Make sure it has a leash so that if you fall off, you can hold onto it.
- Like boating safety, apply sunscreen and don’t stop. Choose waterproof sunscreen if you plan to swim.
- Realize that swimming in a pool is not the same as swimming in the ocean. Stay close to shore until you’re used to the difference.
Boating accidents, drowning, and other safety concerns are real possibilities if you’re not careful and don’t take precautions. Play it safe this summer and use Safe Boating and Beach Safety Week as a time to get yourself prepared for fun at the beach and on the boat.
If you have questions about your boat insurance policy, contact us at Ross Insurance. We can answer your questions and provide a quote for a new policy.