Summertime means spending time with family, cookouts, and boating. Boating is a fun activity but it can be dangerous so it is important to stay safe and be responsible on the water.
“Safety on the water is everyone’s responsibility”, said Peg Phillips, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council.
“It is important to always wear a life jacket and monitor the weather. In coastal areas, pop-up storms are a common occurrence, and advanced training and planning in boat control during inclement weather are important tools for boating safety,” said Phillips.
Essential boating gear includes:
- Visual distress signals
- Fire extinguishers
- Life jackets
- Marine forecasts
- VHF marine-band radio
“Boaters should always check the weather forecast both before leaving the shore and while on the water as the weather can change quickly,” said Darren Wright, national marine program lead, NOAA’s National Weather Service.
It is highly important that all boaters wear a life jacket. According to the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2017 Recreational Boating Statistics, 76% of boating death are due to drowning, 84.5% of victims were NOT wearing a life jacket, and ⅔ of drowning victims were considered good swimmers.