Boating is an undeniably fun and relaxing activity. Aside from that, this type of recreation gives multiple benefits to a person’s health and wellbeing. A research study done by Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, said that boating can make you happier and healthier. Nichols’ research likewise said that boating promotes creativity and reduces stress.
With all the great perks that you can get from sailing on water, it is understandable if you eagerly set a schedule for a boating session right away. It would, however, be careless and unwise to head to the nearest lake, ocean or river without prioritizing safety. Boating may not sound as extreme as other water sports but you still have to exercise precautions in order to avoid any untoward incidents.
Safety Reminders For Boating
To ensure that you are not putting your life (and the life of your companions) at risk, you may want to ask yourself the following questions before going out to sail or boat:
Are you wearing a life-vest?
It is better to be safe than sorry, so do not belittle or ignore the importance of wearing a life jacket while sailing on water. Each person should be wearing a properly-fitted life-vest while on board. However, just wearing one is not enough. It pays to ensure that the life vests on your boat are the right size and pass the standards of the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The USCG has different requirements for various type of water activities and it would not hurt to check their rules before a boating session.
Are you sober?
Drinking while driving is against the law and you should apply the same principle to boating as well. If you intend to spend some time aboard a boat, it is best to ditch alcohol for the day. Do not carry any alcoholic beverages on the boat as well. This is especially because reports from the USCG said that a third of all deaths caused by boating involve alcohol. Another thing, you are in a better position to watch the waves and savor the ocean breeze if you are sober.
Do you have an emergency kit?
Emergencies can happen anytime and anywhere. However, you can boat peacefully if you stock up on tools that can help you cope with any kind of mishap, even while you are in the middle of a lake. Your boat should have a handy first aid kit and a portable battery-operated radio. Among other things, you would also want to have a flashlight, fire extinguisher, and handyman tools on your boat.
Do you have a float plan?
A float plan is a form you can fill out before you set off on your voyage. It should contain essential information about the persons on the boat, details about your boat and the route you plan to take. The time you leave and expected time of return should also be indicated on the form. You leave this document with a friend or relative (any person you trust) so you can be sure that someone will come looking for you if you don’t return. You can easily download float plan templates online.
Do you have carbon monoxide detectors?
According to a the 2017 report of Recreational Boating Statistics, carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common reason for sickness and fatality among boaters. It is very important to guarantee that your boat is
protected from carbon monoxide. This poisonous gas can emit from poorly installed boat engines, exhaust pipes and generators. To avoid carbon monoxide poisoning, it is wise to watch out for any leaks on boat parts that can emit the gas. Even if your boat is free of the poisonous gas, you are also in danger if you happen to dock near a vessel that emits carbon dioxide. Everyone on the boat should therefore be aware of the symptoms and warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. With early detection a remedy can be given right away.
Boating is a great way to enjoy nature. It can also soothe the senses and recharge your spirit. Maximize all the benefits you can have while boating by taking all necessary precautions before sailing.