From Lake Norman to Lake Murray, CPI customers region-wide have access to some unique and refreshing lakes! And where there are lakes, there are boats. As we all get ready to jump in and take advantage of the summer weather, here are 11 boating safety tips that will help keep you and your family safe while on the water.
How Likely Are Boating Accidents?
Before we dive into our safety tips, it’s essential to understand the likelihood of a boating incident. The unfortunate news is that boating accidents and incidents are not uncommon. North Carolina alone saw 171 recreational boating accidents in 2021, leading to 20 fatalities and 91 people injured. *
It pays to err on the side of caution and be aware of the potential risks. Let’s take a look at eleven tips for boating safely this summer.
Summer Boating Safety Tips
3 Tips for Safe Boating Operations
1. Ensure You Keep Your Boat Properly Maintained
You know the saying, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is especially true when it comes to your boat. Make sure you inspect and maintain your boat often and in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Check for leaks, signs of corrosion, and any other potential issues that could put you at risk out on the water.
2. Learn Your Local Boating Laws and Regulations
Every state and county has different laws regarding operating a boat, so make sure you know your local regulations before heading out on the water. Important rules include:
- Boat Registration Information
- Age Minimums for Operating a Vessel
- Navigational Marker Requirements
- Vessel Limitations
- Alcohol Consumption Legal Limits
3. Check the Weather
The weather can change in an instant, so make sure you check up-to-date forecasts before heading out on the water. If there is a chance of thunderstorms or other inclement weather, stay off the lake and out of your boat until conditions improve.
5 Tips for a Safe Boating Trip
1. Ensure You Have The Correct Number of Life Jackets
Be sure to always have enough life jackets onboard for your entire party, and ensure they are the appropriate size for each person. If you are boating with small children, go ahead and put their life jackets on as soon as they get on the dock, so they’re protected as soon as they get close to the water. This way, they can be prepared if they accidentally fall into the water.
2. Always Bring a Fire Extinguisher
Just because you’re on the water doesn’t mean you can’t experience a fire. Be sure to bring a fire extinguisher with you every time you take your boat out, and make sure it is fully functional. Also, take the time to learn how to use your fire extinguisher. You don’t want your first time using a fire extinguisher to be when you’re facing down a fire. Get comfortable with your extinguisher so you can be confident in its use should you need it.
3. Bring Emergency Signaling Devices
Having flares or distress signals can help you get the attention of nearby boaters or Coast Guard vessels. Just like the fire extinguisher, check that these are in working order before heading out on the water.
4. Manage Boat Speed
Most of us agree boating is always a bit more fun the faster you move – up to a point! Always remember that the faster your boat moves, the less time you have to react to any obstacles or hazards that come into your boating lane. Your speed also directly impacts how hard you hit (and how high you bounce) off a wave. An aggressive speed in choppy waters could cause your guests to lose their footing and grip and potentially fall out of the boat or be injured.
5. Keep an Eye Out For Hazards or Other Boats
The water can be a crowded place, especially in the summer. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep an eye out for potential hazards or other boats. Don’t just look out for boats your size or bigger. Keep an eye out for swimmers, kayakers, canoers, jet skiers, and other water sportists. Follow all maritime rules and use proper communication signals when approaching other vessels.
Don’t forget to look out for logs and other debris floating in the water, as well. Hitting a log can do serious damage to your boat.
3 Tips for Protecting Your Boat
1. Invest in a Home Security System
For the ultimate boating-safety peace of mind, consider investing in a 24/7 security system (like the one offered by CPI). When your boat is on a trailer in the driveway or parked in a slip in your pier, you can have eyes on it around the clock. CPI’s Outdoor Camera featuring Perimeter Alert could scare off any bad actors snooping around. You can check in on your boat anytime by pulling up the live feed of your cameras via CPI Security’s inTouch™ app.
2. Store Your Boat Properly
When you’re not on the water, store your boat properly. Ensure it is covered and secure, and all necessary items are stored safely inside. This will help protect your investment from theft or vandalism. Proper storage can also add to the life expectancy of your boat, letting you squeeze out a couple more summers before needing to be replaced.
3. Insure Your Boat
We get it, no one enjoys shopping for insurance, but boating insurance is a necessity for safe boating. For proper coverage, you’ll need to insure the physical boat (in the event of accidents/damages/etc.), as well as purchase a general liability policy. The liability policy will cover someone if they are injured while on your boat. This could save you a lot of money and headaches in the long run.
These 11 Boating Safety Tips will help ensure that your next boating trip is safe and enjoyable for everyone involved. Don’t forget to check weather conditions and local regulations before heading out on the water, and always wear life jackets! Follow these tips for a fun and safe summer on the water.
Looking to protect your boating investment? Get the ultimate peace of mind with a security solution from CPI Security. From video cameras to 24/7 alarm monitoring, we have the tools and services you need to keep your boat secure. Call now for a free consultation.
Sea Grant North Carolina, “Boating Under the Influence Can Be Lethal”