Boating Adventure Safety

Sunday October 19

Anyone who has ever seen “Jaws” knows that certain safety aspects have to be attended to before you even begin to contemplate going into the water. Here are some tips, tricks, and techniques ensuring your water safety so that you can have the best possible boating adventure.Since it is a recreational activity, most boating is done in calm protected waters and during good weather. Even so, conditions can change rapidly, and a small vessel can get into life-threatening difficulties.

Any type of boater knows that it is important to keep an inventory of safety gear on board every boat. This gear is prescribed by the U.S. Coast Guard as well as state boating law administrators in the U.S. Equipment needs depend on the size of the boat and how it is powered. Some required equipment may include:personal flotation devices (PFDs or life jackets) for everyone on board; a throwable flotation device (in the U.S., a Type IV PFD); navigation lights suitable for the type of boat operation; visual distress signals (VSDs) which are effective both day and night; sound-making devices including horns and bells: fire extinguisher(s); and a copy of the Inland Rules of the Road.

Other items that might seem obvious but are not are actually required by law. They include a flashlight, first aid kit, paddles, whistles, anchor and rope, engine spare parts, bilge pumps, a VHF radio or mobile phone, etc.

In addition to these safety items listed above, the Code of Federal Regulations lists some additional required items that may not fall into the common definition of "safety" items. All companies are very familiar with the Code of Federal Regulations lists and carry the safety items. Not surprisingly, that also describes a typical boater under normal conditions While various strategies have been devised in the last few decades to increase PFD wear rates, the observed rate has been relatively constant. This has led to the possibility of legislation requiring PFD usage on boats under a specified length when underway. PFDs were called life-jackets in the past. With the advent of PC, along came PFD. With improved boater safety education, increased use of life jackets, and improved boating safety gear, safety is truly no longer an issue for savvy boaters who use common sense and follow both federal and local legislation.

A more obscure aspect of boater safety which needs to be considered is the presence of stray electrical power from a boat leaking into the water. Metal surfaces of a boat leaking power into the water can create zones of high-energy potential. Stray current entering salt water is less of a problem than the same situation in fresh water. Salt water is a good conductor and it carries current away to ground quickly. The problem can be reduced by prohibiting swimming near boats connected to shore power and ensuring marinas comply with National Fire Protection Association Standard 303 for marinas. Most boats and marinas regularly comply with this. All of the Adventure Boating companies listed on take the utmost care to ensure your boating safety and give you the holiday experience of a lifetime that vacations are truly for.


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