Everybody loves to have fun on the water in the warm weather, and some even brave the waves during colder months.  No matter what the season, boat safety is the reason that keeps everyone afloat.

It’s very important that people understand boat safety before they get behind the wheel of a motorized watercraft or enter the water on any kind of boat. Not only your life, but someone else’s may depend on what you know about boat safety.


Basic Things to Remember about Boat Safety

young woman kayaking

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There is a list of very important aspects of boat safety that everyone should be aware of. Casual boaters, experts, passengers, and captains; if you go out on the water you need to play it safe. For the purpose of general knowledge, we have assembled some of the facts about boat safety that everyone should be aware of here:

  • Life Jackets. There needs to be one life jacket for everyone on board that fits it is appropriate for age size and weight
  • Cold Water Boating. Be prepared for cold water boating with emergency warming clothing and other heat producing essentials in the event of cold water immersion
  • Emergencies/Flares/Distress Signals. Always carry flares and emergency signal and equipment in the event emergencies on the water
  • Alcohol and Other Drugs. Boating is the same as driving an automobile, except it is on the water. Drunk boating is against the law and carries heavy fines and potential imprisonment. You should never be intoxicated and operate a watercraft, and of course, the use of illegal drugs is always a dangerous idea
  • Marine Communication. Possessing equipment to communicate with authorities in the event of emergencies is step everyone is advised to take
  • Fire Extinguishers in First Aid Kits. You should always have fire extinguishers in good operating condition and a well-stocked first aid kit on board your boat at all times in the event of emergencies. You never know when you will need them to never leave without them
  • Carbon Monoxide. Use of carbon monoxide detection equipment is highly advised for those operating motorized watercraft
Easy Ways to Put Safety First.

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There are many aspects of boating safety that one should be well aware of before they ever operate a watercraft, and only some of them have been mentioned here. Even if it is not legally required in your state, a course in boater safety could end up saving your life or others, so you should do the right thing and take one before you get on the water.


The Coast Guard and Boat Safety

US Coast Guard Urges Safe Boating

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The United States Coast Guard has several programs devoted to boat safety available for the general public.  Information on their website Is available that will give you detailed tips and general ideas as to how to be safe in the water as well.  There is a number of boater safety courses available depending on your location.


US Boat Safety Information Resources

The Boat US Boat safety course is available on the Boat US website depending on the geographical location you reside in. The safety course is mandatory in many areas and is offered by the Boat US Safety Foundation at an affordable rate.

The boat safety course that is required by most states has requirements that are fulfilled by the Boat US Boat safety course.  Successful completion of this course will grant you the privileges afforded to those who possess the safety course certificate.

Those who operate a personal watercraft need to take the NOSA approved boating safety course in order to be eligible for a boating license. In many areas, the boating safety course is required as part of the boating license procedure and it’s a mandatory part of getting a boating license. The Boat US boat safety courses all fulfill these requirements. These courses are not always available in your area so check the website for details.


How to Take a Boater Safety Course

things every parent should know before rafting with their kids

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You can take many boater safety courses online or in person at specified geographical locations provided by the Coast Guard, Boat US, and other institutions providing government-approved boat safety courses. You should check for availability, location, and time of year. Find out what you need to do to sign up such as fees and providing documentation of your identity.

Signing up online isn’t all that difficult, you just fill out the forms and submit the documentation and fees and you should be able to sign up quite easily and quickly. The boater safety courses take time frames ranging from 4 to 8 Hours of study combined with exams and can be completed in a reasonable amount of time for most boaters. If there are border safety courses in your area, calling ahead and scheduling a time to take them in person is preferable to an online study course when possible.

Feature image via Spirit of Innovation Makes Confidence