August 21, 2015
Summer may be wrapping up, but there are still a few weeks of boating season left! When you’re out on the lake with your friends and family this fall, be sure to follow these 5 safety tips:
1. Wear Your Life Jackets
Wearing a life jacket is the easiest way to stay safe while on the boat. In the event that you unexpectedly enter the water, a life jacket will keep you at the surface while you gather your bearings. Even if you’re a strong swimmer, a life jacket is always recommended.
2. Plan Your Route
Whether you’re going on a quick trip around the lake or a full-day trip, plan your route before you head out and stick to it. Once you have it planned, share it with a friend or family member who is not going so that if there is an emergency situation they will have an idea of where to find you.
3. Inspect Your Boat Before You Go Out
Before heading out, take a minute to inspect your boat. During this inspection, you can check to see if there is any damage to the boat that could cause problems while on the lake, as well as make sure all the necessary safety equipment is packed. To make sure your boat has the necessary safety equipment, review our checklist below.
4. Don’t Drink and Boat
Everyone knows the dangers of drinking and driving, but what many people don’t realize is that drinking and boating can be just as dangerous. One of the biggest dangers that is unique to drinking and boating is the fact that alcohol disturbs your inner ear. This means that you will have difficulty distinguishing the water surface from the air if you fall in, increasing your risk of drowning. If you plan on having a drink after you’ve docked your boat, make sure there is a designated driver available if you need to take it home.
5. Monitor Weather
Any boater knows that weather and water conditions rarely stay consistent. Before you head out, check the local weather station for information on the day’s weather. Even if the forecast is clear, it’s still critical that you monitor the skies while you’re out because sudden weather changes can pose a big danger if you are not prepared. We suggest checking Environment Canada’s website as they posts detailed and frequently updated weather forecasts.
Following these five safety tips will make sure that your day on the lake is nothing but fun!