Boating Safety Tips

We don’t often discuss boating accidents. They simply don’t happen as frequently as car accidents. However, we are now coming into cottage weather and that means more boats and boaters on our lakes and rivers.

What is puzzling is people tend to be less cautious in boats. We feel safer for some reason on the water. That may be due to a false sense of security because you are a good swimmer. People get fast and loose with regulations that seem obvious in a car, such as drinking and driving.

Drunk driving causes the majority of boating accidents. Drinking slows your reaction time, makes you dizzy and less equipped to deal with potential dangers. Driving a boat is not easier or less complicated than a car, so you need to be equally alert. Make sure you do not drive your boat drunk or tipsy.

You want to ensure your boat has proper lighting. I was involved in a case years ago where the two boats didn’t see each other. This led to devastating consequences.

Wear your lifejacket. Even if you are a great swimmer, if you are knocked out or fuzzy you may not be able to get yourself safely to shore. Lifejackets are mandatory like seatbelts for a reason. Carry all safety gear with you in case of an emergency.

Take it easy as well. Do not stay out in the blazing sun for hours and hours. Take a break – come in from the sun and rehydrate. You do not want to be lethargic in the face of a dangerous situation.

Be safe, have fun and enjoy your long weekend!


What should I include in a boat safety kit?

Whenever preparing a safety/ emergency kit, you must ensure that these things are included: flashlight, duct tape, bucket, first aid kit, whistle, ropes, mirror, garbage bags, fire extinguisher, and life jackets. These things can be used whenever there are leaks, you’re lost, or when you have to call for attention.

Should I be worried about fumes?

Yes, you should be worried about fumes in your boat. One of the fumes that you should be worried about is carbon monoxide. This gas can accumulate in and around your boat and unexpectedly knock you or your guests unconscious. Carbon monoxide usually accumulates in places that include enclosed spaces, blocked exhaust outlets, and inadequately ventilated canvas enclosures.

What is the proper anchoring procedure?

To ensure that the wind won’t drag your boat, you must drop two anchors in a V-formation at the front of the craft to keep it from drifting away. To prevent the tide from lifting your anchor, you must drop it in deeper water (about 20 to 30 feet).