Sunny, warm weather means fun days relaxing on the water with your family and friends. Regardless of how long you have been boating, it is important to refresh your safety practices and ensure all of your equipment is ready to go for the exciting days ahead. This year May 22 - 28 is National Safe Boating Week. Read up on some helpful reminders to make sure you are prepared for the season.
Life Jacket Inventory
The minimum guideline is to have a life jacket onboard for each passenger. Some local authorities may require passengers to wear the life jacket while the boat is in motion. You can check state-specific life jacket requirements at BoatUs.org. Ensure you have enough jackets for everyone, that they are in good working condition and appropriate sizes for the passengers aboard. You can read additional life jacket tips on the U.S Coast Guard website.
Have Your Boat Inspected
The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron volunteers offer a free Vessel Safety Check to the public. They will ensure that your boat meets the minimum safety requirements and that your equipment is in good condition to save your life in the event of an emergency.
More than two-thirds of boating accidents are linked to operator error. Enrolling in boating courses can improve your skills and help you navigate emergencies. It is also vital to know boating state laws where you will be enjoying the water. They vary across state lines, so make sure you research these before taking your boat out if you are leaving the state!
Taking the boat out for the weekend is one of the best ways to spend a Texas summer. From water skiing to tubing to just soaking in the sun, it is important to make sure your boat is equipped in the case of an emergency. Practice safe boating by staying alert at all times, operating at safe speeds, and following any navigational aids. Enjoy all that the Texas waters have to offer!