Water sports, relaxing in the sun and splashing in the water are great ways to make memories with family and friends. Water lovers must be careful near the marina and dock, though, to assure that their getaways are safe ones. If you are hitting the open waters this season, don’t forget these safety tips!
- Use forward and reverse at an idle speed when docking and moving your boat near the marina.
- Have bumpers, mooring lines and boat hooks ready before docking.
- Keep all body parts in the boat until you have come to a complete stop.
- Tie the line that holds the boat against the wind first when docking.
General Boating Precautions:
- Dock at a marina that has standpipes, fire extinguishers, good lighting, surveillance cameras and security measures in place.
- Always wear personal flotation devices when on the water, especially those that cannot swim and children.
- Do not swim near a marina since boaters cannot see you when they are trying to dock.
- Wear non-slip shoes on the boat and dock.
- Keep your boat in good condition with all equipment meeting safety standards established in your area.
- Assure that the marina has the proper power voltage for your boat.
- Add fuel to portable tanks on the dock only; never on the deck of your boat.
- Always check local weather conditions before you depart. If you notice darkening clouds, volatile and rough changing winds or sudden drops in temperature, play it safe by getting off the water.
To avoid a potential fire onboard, inspect fuel hoses and containers on a regular basis to prevent the escaping vapors from going into bilges. Also, check the wiring and all appliances on deck for damage frequently.
As a safety precaution, keep fire extinguishers on deck and fit smoke detectors to the cabin.
Get more recreational boating tips from the National Safety Council.
Take this Safe Boating Quiz!
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Staying Safe Near Bodies Of Water
During the hot summer months, playing near the water and swimming with family and friends can be a relaxing way to cool off. However, there’s always a substantial risk of drowning or sustaining another life-changing injury near large bodies of water. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), individuals aged 1-4 and 15-24 have the highest drowning rates. Keep your family and friends safe near bodies of water by adhering to these safety recommendations:
- Make sure that children are always supervised when they’re near water.
- Enroll young children in swimming lessons to teach them how to float, hold their breath and move through the water.
- Wear an appropriately-sized lifejacket whenever you are on a boat or a ship.
- Never rely on recreational floating devices such as water wings or foam noodles to support yourself in the water.
- Never consume alcohol when you’re near water.
- Check with local officials or lifeguards if you’re concerned about the water conditions at a public beach.