6 boating safety tips for guests

May 19, 2013 

During National Safe Boating Week, the BoatUS Foundation is urging boaters to take a friend boating, sailing or fishing.

To assure everyone’s safety, the foundation is recommends boaters give their guests a short pre-departure talk about important safety gear and tips for safe operation.

The foundation suggests sharing six tips with guests:

1Most newcomers to boating have no idea how a boat handles once you’re out on open water. Explain to your guests where the best/safest places are to sit during operation, how you’ll handle wakes and, if your boat is on the small side, show them how a passenger’s shifting weight can affect your boat’s stability or exposure to waves.

2With your VHF radio turned on, tell your guests how to call for help on channel 16. If you have a DSC-VHF radio, show them the red mayday button and explain how to activate it.

3Bring out the life jackets and encourage your new-to-boating guests to wear one. If they are not worn, ensure they are easy to get to, such as under or next to their seat.

4Point out the location of other important safety gear such as flares and fire extinguishers.

5Show your guests on a chart where you’re going, and let them know you’ve filed a float plan so others know the boat’s whereabouts and when the group should be returning.

6Let them know what to do if someone falls overboard — having a spotter is essential, as is keeping a throwable device, also known as a type IV personal flotation device, handy at all times.

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