Boating Tips To Give You Peace Of Mind
Boating Tips To Give You Peace Of Mind
I think we can all agree that going out on the lake is something that never gets old. If you are a lake goer and have been your whole life, Summer is most likely your favorite season and you probably can’t wait to get out on Table Rock Lake or Truman Lake! As exciting as it is, boating can be dangerous if the proper rules & safety regulations are not followed.
In 2017, there were 4,291 boating crashes nationwide, with 2,629 resulting in injuries and 658 resulting in fatalities. 5 That is far too high, and the odds are that a good majority of these accidents could have been prevented.
Whether you are an experienced boater in the Missouri area, or new to boating, here are some basic things you should do to ensure the safety of yourself and the passengers on your boat this summer.
Take a Boating Course
First things first… Ask yourself “Do I actually know all of the important safety rules, procedures, and equipment that I should know about?” If you answered no, it’s time to take a boating course! Not being educated or prepared for the Lake could be extremely dangerous. You can get more information on online boating courses here. 2
Consider Getting a Boat Safety Check
The U.S. Coast Guard offers complimentary boat examinations done by a specialist, to ensure that your boat is meeting all required state and federal safety regulations. You can fill out a form to request this service for the Branson area or other locations here. 1
Know Where Safety Materials Are Located and How To Use Them
Safety equipment and materials will do absolutely no good if you can’t find them when you need them! Know where all of your materials are and go over it before going out on the water. These materials can include: life jackets, flotation devices, tow rope, horn or sound producing devices, fire extinguishers, flares and visual distress signals. Extra food and a first aid kit are also great resources to have handy. Check your supplies each year.
Always Wear Life Jackets
Most people who boat think they are good swimmers, but accidents do happen. If you take guests out on the water, ask them if they can swim and show them where your jackets are kept. Encourage them to take one with them into the water and set a good example by doing so yourself. Missouri law requires boaters to have a U.S. Coast Guard- approved life jacket on board and accessible for each occupant of the boat, and children under the age of seven are required to wear a life jacket at all times, unless they are in the cabin area of a houseboat or cruiser. 4
Check The Weather Forecast
We all know that the weather is very unpredictable, especially in Missouri, but if you check the weather before taking your boat out, at least you will know somewhat how the weather is going to be for the day, and can then plan accordingly. You can check the National Weather Service Marine Forecasts here.3 Also consider keeping a weather radio on board to stay updated.
Share Your Plans With Someone
Last but not least, let somebody know what your plans are. Let them know where you are going, boat type, name of passengers, and when you intend to return. Just in case of an emergency, someone should have this information. It might be a good addition to your routine to leave a note on your vehicle’s dashboard, in case the dock staff needs to get a hold of you.
These are just some things that are important to incorporate into your lake and boating routine. It’s great to have fun, but safety comes first! If you would like a quote on your boat or dock insurance, visit our office any time or call us at 417-882-1800!
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