With spring and warmer weather on the horizon, the Safe Boating Campaign is reminding boaters to always boat responsibly and to follow safety guidelines while on the water. Routinely checking your equipment and preparing for the upcoming boating season is good sense, and the sign of a real boater.
Following are reminders as boaters prepare for spring:
- Ensure your life jacket fits properly. Check the manufacturer’s ratings for your size and weight. Make sure the life jacket is properly zipped and/or buckled. You can check for fit by raising your arms above your head while wearing the life jacket and asking a friend to grasp the shoulder lapels and gently pulling up. There should be no excess room above the openings and the life jacket should not ride up over your chin or face. A snug fit in these areas shows the life jacket fits properly.
- Inspect your life jacket. Inspection should include orally inflating your life jacket and ensuring it holds air for 16-24 hours, inspecting the cylinder (there should be no discharge or corrosion), checking that the cylinder is screwed in tight, and doing a flotation check on inherently buoyant life jackets. Always refer to the owner’s manual.
- Restock your first aid kit if necessary, replacing anything that has expired.
- Ensure all battery-powered devices have fresh batteries.
- Order any gear that needs to be replaced. Never use expired or faulty gear.
- Make sure you have two communications devices that will work when wet, such as a VHF radio and emergency locator beacon.
- Double-check your trailer. Tire pressure, lights, tie downs, and other equipment should be tested and potentially replaced.
- Take a safe boating course to brush up or learn new skills.
- Get a vessel safety check to ensure you’re ready to go!
Spring also means these important dates are approaching. We hope you’ll join the campaign for what is sure to be a fun season:
- Wear Your Life Jacket at Work Day | May 21, 2021
- National Safe Boating Week | May 22-28, 2021
- Ready, Set, Wear It | Dates vary by location