Because no boat is entirely trustworthy—think of the Titanic—even if you are the greatest boater in the world, you may one day need to be able to survive in the water without it. This is why one of the most important aspects of boating safety actually has nothing to do with boats. Swimming is one of the most crucial skills to a safe boater, and, of all of the different methods of staying afloat, treading water may be the most useful to a boater. This is because rather than trying to swim to the shore, the passenger of a capsized boat is typically simply waiting where he or she is in order to be rescued. Below are 5 steps on how to tread water efficiently and correctly.
- Do not try to swim. When swimming, you turn your body horizontally in the water and kick your legs. However, when treading water, you keep your body upright and use both your arms and legs.
- Move your arms horizontally, and your legs back and forth in a circular motion.
- Do not panic. Additionally, continue breathing normally. Panicking and hyperventilating can only waste your energy and make it more difficult to actually stay above the water.
- Lie on your back if you are having trouble staying afloat in the normal position. This will also become difficult after a while, but it uses different muscles and different technique than regular water treading, so it may help you rest and stay afloat longer.
- Use anything around you to stay afloat. This may seem like a no-brainer, but if you happen to see any floating debris—wood, garbage, etc—in the water, do not hesitate to grab onto it.
Looking for more ways to stay safe while boating? Check out BeaconWatch today for state of the art boating safety solutions.