The best boating experience is a safe boating experience. The Fourth of July is one of the busiest weekends for boating. Do your part and be responsible in the water.
The Safe Boating Campaign offers these safety tips for safely enjoying the Memorial holiday:
- Wear a life jacket. Make sure everyone is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. New innovative styles provide mobility and flexibility during water activities.
- Check equipment. Make sure you have and know how to use all the essential equipment.
- Make a float plan. Let family and friends know where you’re going and when you will return.
- Use an engine cutoff device. An engine cutoff device is a proven safety device to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
- Watch the weather. Always check the forecast before departing on the water and frequently during your excursion.
- Know what’s going on around you at all times. Nearly a quarter of all reported boating accidents in 2018 were caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
- Know where you’re going and travel at safe speeds. Familiarize yourself with local boating speed zones and always travel at a safe speed.
- Never boat under the influence. A BUI is involved in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities.
- Keep in touch. Cell phones, satellite phones, EPIRB or personal locator beacon, and VHF radios can all be important devices in an emergency.
- Leave fireworks to the experts. With gallons of fuel aboard your boat and other flammable materials, it’s not worth the risk.
- Remember social distancing. Stay 6-ft apart, wash hands frequently, and wear your mask until you’re out on the water away from others.
For more boating safety tips, download this handy boating safety tip checklist.