Memorial Day weekend is a fantastic opportunity to enjoy the last bout of warm weather and outdoor sports! Memorial Day brings with it an anticipation of cooler weather, shorter days, and changing of hobbies. Whether camping, fishing, water skiing, tubing, or just joy riding, here are some fantastic tips to keep you safe when you decide to launch the boat and take a cruise over the long weekend!

Emergency Equipment

Before you launch the boat, double check your safety equipment to make sure that it is functioning properly. Make sure that your navigational lights are operating and you have a good map, chart, or GPS system. Be sure that all mirrors, lights, horns, and devices used for signaling are operating as designed. The most important tool to keep in working order is the communication device (such as a VHF radio or even just a cell phone)! If you are lost, injured, or in danger, having a good communication device can help a trained individual to guide you through an emergency scenario. Always remember the story about the boy who “cried wolf” and never signal for emergency assistance unless you are experiencing a true emergency!

Safety Kit

A well stocked safety kit will take up space and add some weight to the boat, but will be well worth the trouble when an emergency strikes! Some things that should be included within the kit are personal flotation devices for each passenger (even those who can swim), a larger flotation device (such as ring or floating cushions), flares, a first aid kit, a small paddle, and extra lines or ropes. These items can help passengers to stay safely above the water’s surface and help to tow the boat in the event of a sudden storm, breakdown, or leak.

Weather Check

Always check the weather before you leave on your boating trip and as the trip continues! Knowing air temperature, water temperature, and seasonal weather patterns will help the crew to predict safety conditions if they need to abandon the watercraft or use water currents to reach shore.

Safe Boating Practices

Even when the weather is tame and all is well on board, be sure to follow safe boating practices and the regulations of the local marine administration.  When you are unfamiliar with the waterways, be sure to monitor shallow areas and pay attention to waterway traffic.

 

Hopefully these tips will help you to have a fun filled and extremely safe Memorial Day Weekend!

We thank Travelers Insurance for sharing their sequence on boating safety tips! This blog features “Emergency Preparedness Tips and Checklist for Boaters“. For more information, follow the link and find more boating suggestions from Travelers!