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Finally Have Your Boating License? 4 Steps To Keep Your Passengers Safe

by Taylor Hughes

Summer is the perfect time to get out on your new boat. Once you have your boat license, you'll want to head out to the water with your friends. Each time you head out with your boat, you need to be prepared for possible emergencies. Here are four simple steps you can take to ensure you're prepared to keep your passengers safe on your boat.

Be Prepared for Accidents

Now that you have your boating license, it's your responsibility to protect the lives of your passengers. Each time you head out into open water with people on-board, you need to make sure that you're prepared for an emergency. You never know when an accident is going to occur. Unfortunately, after an accident, your passengers aren't going to have time to get into their flotation devices. To protect you and your passengers, everyone needs to put on their proper flotation devices before heading out to open water.

It's also important that each flotation device properly fit the person who's wearing it. If you're going to have children on-board, be sure to equip your boat with child-sized flotation devices for them.

Know What to Do

If you're involved in a boating accident, it's important that you remain calm and call for assistance immediately. If you're able to, you need to locate each person in your party, and assess their injuries. Try to keep them calm, as well. If no one else seems to be around and you have flares on board, shoot one off so that emergency responders have an easier time locating you in the water.

Be Prepared for Environmental Factors

When you're out on the open water, environmental factors play a big role in your safety. Heat from the sun can tire you out and leave your body in a weakened state. Before you head out on a lake or river, prepare yourself and your passengers for environmental factors. Always bring a hat to cover your head from the searing heat. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare off the water. Always bring enough water to last the day. Dehydration can wreak havoc on your body. If you begin to feel weak, or lethargic, it's important that you return to shore as soon as possible.

Avoid Alcoholic Beverages

You may think that consuming a few alcoholic beverages while you're out on your boat is fine. However, it's important to remember that drinking and driving never mix, even on a boat. Not only does alcohol suppress the nervous system, it also delays your reaction time, which means you won't be able to react to emergencies as quickly as you could without the alcohol in your system. If you're going to be driving the boat, avoid alcohol until you get back to shore.