National Safe Boating Week
Take The K.I.S.S. Principle Home For Safe Boating
May 15, 2015
Now through May 22 is National Safe Boating Week, reminding anyone who spends his or her time on the water to think about ways to have a great summer and avoid any chance of becoming US Coast Guard statistic. The BoatUS Foundation for boating safety and Clean Water has four tips that follow the familiar K.I.S.S. principle – but with a bent for boating safety – that are nearly universal:
Keep your life jackets handy: This means readily accessible within arms reach, not still in it's plastic bag or behind compartment doors buried under junk. Better yet, WEAR IT. You'd be surprised at how comfortable and slim today's newest inflatable life jackets are.
Instruct your passengers on where to sit and how to move about the boat safely. This applies to all boats, but the smallest ones can have biggest problems: swamping, large wakes and overloading can turn your day into one you'd rather forget.
See that all passengers are briefed on where emergency equipment is kept and how to use it: don't forget to show how to use the VHF radio, and what everyone needs to do in case someone falls overboard (designate a spotter).
Share your float plan with someone ashore to let them know where you're headed and expected to return. The simple act of telling someone has been demonstrated to greatly reduce a rescuer's response time.
For more information on boating safety or to take a no-cost online boating-safety course, go to BoatUS.org. Also, see page 3 each issue of this publication.
The BoatUS Foundation for boating safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible BOATING. Funded primarily by donations from the over half-million members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the non-profit provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping BOATING safe for all.
A range of boating-safety courses – including 34 free state courses – can be found at BoatUS.org/courses.