Summer Boating Safety Tips

Published: June 10, 2021

Check out our video on boating safety on twitter!

This summer we will be reviewing summer safety topics. Our first topic is boater safety. In the summer months boating is a very fun activity especially in the heat, but before you go boating this summer it is important to prepare. These tips were shared by the safe boating campaign. This campaign is dedicated to ensuring boater safety worldwide especially encouraging all people to wear a life jacket. According to the U.S. Coast Guard statistics: Drowning was the reported cause of death in 79% of all boating fatalities, of those, 86% were reported as not wearing their life jackets, and two-thirds of drowning victims are good swimmers. Please take a few minutes to read through this safety check list below. Have fun and stay safe this summer! 

  1. Wear a life jacket. 
  2. Make sure your life jacket is U.S. Coast Guard approved, appropriate for your water activity and fits properly. 
  3. Know state boating laws.
  4. Take a boating safety course. Learn valuable tips that can help save your life in unexpected situations by taking a NASBLA (National Association of Boating Law Administrators) approved boating safety course.  
  5. Make sure your boat is prepared. Schedule a Vessel Safety Check with your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons before you hit the water. Every Vessel Safety Check is conducted free of charge. 
  6. Be sure to know your boat’s capacity.  
  7. Check the weather.
  8. Dress properly.  
  9. Make sure to stay hydrated! We have a resource on the Center’s website that is very helpful for tips to stay hydrated.
  10. Always file a float plan. File a float plan with someone you trust that includes details about the trip, boat, persons, towing or trailer vehicle, communication equipment and emergency contacts. Find out more at Float Plan Central
  11. Always follow navigation rules. 
  12. Don’t drink while you boat. 
  13. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning. Gasoline-powered engines on boats, including onboard generators, produce carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless and odorless gas that can poison or kill someone who breathes too much of it. 
  14. Keep in touch. Communication devices can be the most important piece of emergency equipment on board a vessel, especially in case of emergency.