Boating accidents. We all like to think they cannot happen to us. However, while the odds of a boating emergency are slim, particularly for those who follow the proper safety protocol, even the most diligent and careful boater can find himself or herself in an emergency. The difference between your boating accident being an inconvenience and a disaster is the difference between coming prepared and failing to do what is necessary to prepare. So what can you do to prepare your boat and your crew for the worst? Below are a few tips on preparing your boat for an accident—before and after you have left the dock.
- Have your boat inspected regularly. If you have the proper knowledge to check all of the different aspects of your boat to ensure safety, do so on a regular basis. If not, it is possible to take advantage of boat inspections given free by the US Coast Guard.
- Have lifejackets—and wear them. Many people keep their vessels stocked with a good number of lifejackets—which is of course, at least as many as there are people on the boat. However, some people make the mistake of not putting them on until an emergency occurs. This can be a problem because many accidents happen too fast to anticipate.
- Tell someone, preferably a trusted adult friend or the crew at the local marina, where you will be going and when you plan to return. This will help people realize much sooner if you have become stranded or cannot return to shore for some other reason.
- Bring some kind of signaling beacon in order to help signal help if you are in need of it. This will help the authorities locate you and rescue you if an emergency occurs.
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