Last week’s posting highlighted the importance of wearing life jackets, letting someone know where you are going, and staying sober while boating or participating in water sports. Here are some additional safety tips to ensure that you enjoy a happy, healthy summer vacation on the water:
- Awareness is Key. Check the weather reports before heading out on the water – know what to expect from the forecast, including water and sea conditions. If you do get caught in bad weather, make sure everyone with you gets out of the water, back into the boat, and head for shore.
- The Heat is On. The hot weather can feel wonderful, but it can also be dangerous if you are exposed for too long without adequate protection. Be sure to stay hydrated by drinking sufficient amounts of water, wear a hat and good sunglasses in the sun, and don’t forget to apply (and re-apply) sunscreen often. Many clothing lines now offer SPF protection as well.
- Rules for a Reason. When boating, follow the rules of the lake, or river, or sea: stay in navigable waters, monitor your wakes, maintain plenty of distance between other boats, and have someone “spotting” for people in the water. If you have water skiers, or boat tubes that people will be riding on, like a big towable tube, go over the hand signs so skiers and riders know how to communicate with the boat: Okay (thumb and tip of index finger together); Faster (thumbs up); Slower (thumbs down); Stop (hand slashing across neck); Go Back to the dock or shore (pat head). Even though kids can yell loud, don’t expect to hear them over the roar of the boat engine.