Many people love to spend time on the water in boats for a wide variety of reasons. Frequently, you will find people on a watercraft swimming, water skiing, fishing, or just relaxing. In order to be safe on the water, you should know certain things about boat safety, and the best way to learn about boat safety is by taking a boating safety course.
Boating safety is one of the most important things that people face during the warm weather months, as spending time on boats is common for a vast number of individuals. Friends, family, and business associates should know the basics of boat safety before they get on the water.
Those hosting events on boats, going out for a leisurely cruise around the bay, or going fishing with their buddies are a common sight. At least one of the individuals who go on these boats should have taken a boater safety course prior to going out on the water.
Facts About Boating Safety Courses
Boating safety courses are in abundance and they offer instruction about all aspects of boating safety. There are several important parts of what makes boating safely on the water for everyone concerned. Everyone should be aware of boating safety principles, and a good boating safety course will give you information and instruction on topics such as the following:
- The Use of Life Jackets. Having life jackets on board is the number one priority in boating safety. A life jacket must be sized properly, is appropriate for the right age, and is in good working order at all times. Legally, you have to have one life jacket of proper size in good working order for every single person on your ship.
- Dangers of Carbon Monoxide. Having a carbon monoxide detector on board will help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from boat engine emissions. You need to have a carbon monoxide detector installed on your boat especially within enclosed areas.
- Proper Access to Fire Extinguishers. There should always be properly maintained fire extinguishers on your watercraft within easy reach in case of emergency.
- Navigation Electronics and Marine Communications. You should have electronic navigation, plus some paper charts in case the electronics fail. Marine communication devices should be in good working order and kept away from the water.
- Emergency First Aid. You should have a well-stocked first aid kit and know how to use everything in it for any emergencies that may occur while boating.
- The Use of Flares and Distress Signals. You should always have flares or distress signals on board in case you get stranded to alert other ships passing by to your plight.
- Avoiding Alcohol and Illegal Drugs on the Water. Every year, numerous accidents on the water are attributed to the use of alcohol or illegal drugs, and unfortunately, may result in fatalities. While it is okay to have a good time, drinking alcohol while operating a watercraft is the same as drinking and driving, and there are fines and penalties including imprisonment for those who transgress the law. Never use illegal drugs while operating a boat.
There are many different aspects of boating safety, and these are just a few of them covered in your average boater safety course. Boated courses cover all of the topics that are necessary to remain safe on the water in depth, and you should be well prepared to handle any situation you will encounter as a result of successful course completion.
More information on the specifics of boater safety courses can be found at the place where you will take your course. For institutions offering government-approved boating safety courses for the purpose of obtaining a boating license, you can be assured that they are complete and will prepare you sufficiently to operate a boat and keep everyone concerned safe.
Why You Need to Take a Boating Safety Course
You may be required to take a boating safety course in order to operate a boat and become licensed depending on the area you live in. A boating safety course is a great idea for anyone who spends time regularly on the water.
It is recommended that you share whatever information you have on boating safety to all of your passengers before you get on the water.
Where You Can Take a Boating Safety Course
There are many different areas where you can take a boating safety course with live equipment and an instructor in person. That may not always be necessary as there are many online boater safety courses available, usually with low fees that are approved for boating licenses in many states including Florida. Florida Boating licenses require the successful completion of a boater safety course.
Feature image via parks.ca.gov