Boating can contribute to some beautiful memories around Hartley Bay and Prince Rupert this summer. Whether going for an evening cruise, attempting to catch dinner, heading to a beach party, or simply floating and enjoying some leisure time, a boat adds enjoyment to your days in the heat.
Even with recreational activities like boating, you must follow recommended safety guidelines. These safety tips will help ensure a smooth and enjoyable boating experience during the warmer months. The key to safe summer boating is prioritizing safety and avoiding unnecessary risks.
10 Tips for Summer Boating Safety
To ensure your safety and maximize your enjoyment on the water during the summer season, follow these 10 tips.
1. Follow the rules of the water
Just like on land, there are rules to follow on the waterways. Obey speed limits, have insurance, be aware of your surroundings, and stay up-to-date on boating safety regulations.
2. Plan your trip around the weather
Weather can change quickly out on the water. Before heading out on the boat, check the forecast and go boating if the conditions are favourable. Pack extra supplies such as food, water, blankets, and clothing in changing conditions.
3. Maintain your boat to keep it seaworthy
Regular vessel maintenance is key to a safe and worry-free boating experience. Ensure you perform preventative maintenance on your boat to keep it in good working condition.
4. Check your equipment
Just because you have something on board doesn't mean it's in good working order. Double-check all your equipment, including the radio, GPS, batteries, and fuel tank. Make sure things are charged and you have enough fuel for your excursion.
5. Bring a friend or two.
You know what they say, two heads are better than one. Having another person on board brings some additional safety and an extra set of hands to help out in an unexpected situation.
6. Never operate a boat under the influence.
Summertime and cold drinks go hand-in-hand; however, you must keep your wits about when operating a vessel. Save the drinks for after you return to shore.
7. Make sure somebody knows your plan.
Tell somebody on land the details of your outing before you go. Share your intended route, departure time, expected return time, and when they should contact authorities if they have not heard from you.
8. Dress for the weather.
In the summertime, opt for lightweight, breathable clothing and wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect yourself from the sun (it helps if it has a strap so it doesn't blow away). Remember sunscreen! There is increased exposure to the sun due to the reflection from the water, so make sure you're covered up.
9. Protect your eyes
Between the wind and the brightness reflecting off the water, shield your eyes with sunglasses, which are especially helpful when travelling at higher speeds.
10. Keep your lifejacket on
Ensure everyone on board wears a personal flotation device (PFD) correctly and consistently throughout the boating trip.
Do You Have Everything You Need on Board?
As outlined in our Winter Boating Safety Blog, there are some safety equipment essentials you need to have aboard, no matter what. The list of specific equipment varies depending on the type of boat you have, but these items should be kept on every vessel:
Personal flotation devices (PFDs) or life jackets for each person on board.
A buoyant heaving line of at least 15 metres.
A manual propelling device like a paddle or an anchor with at least 15 metres of rope, cable, or chain.
A bailer or hand pump.
A sound-signaling device such as a whistle or air horn.
A class 5BC fire extinguisher.
A waterproof flashlight or approved flares.
A vessel license for boats with a motor of 10 horsepower or more.
Stay Prepared on the Water
We want to ensure everyone has a great time on the water this summer, and the best way to guarantee a good time is preparation. Following safety precautions can minimize incidents so, you enjoy yourself more.
How do you prepare for the summer boating season? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below. Stay safe, and have a wonderful summer on the water!