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7 Boating Safety Tips

We are in the middle of the summer right now, and with the wonderful weather, we are able enjoy the local lakes! In Kosciusko County, there are dozens of lakes. That means lots of boating, especially on the weekends. Here are some tips to help keep you safe while boating:

 1.       Weather
Before you go out on a lake, check the weather the forecast. A large storm can be dangerous on a lake. Waves and lightning can do large amounts of damage, so it is best not to be on the water during a storm.

 2.       Common Sense

It may not be common, but using good sense when you are boating is the best way to be safe. Drive your boat at a safe speed, especially if you are in a congested area. Make sure you are looking around often, so you don’t turn into another boat. Also, watch closely for a swimmer in the water that might have fallen off of a tube or skis. Watch for buoys and other makers warning of shallow water or other objects present in the water.

 3.       Spotter

Tubing, skiing, wake boarding, and other similar sports can be lots of fun, but make sure you always have one person spotting. The driver needs to be focused on driving the boat and not looking backwards. Tell the people that are being pulled to splash, hold up a ski, or board if they are down in the water. It can be a very vulnerable and dangerous moment for a person floating in the water, as waves can hide them from being seen by other boats.

 4.       Lifejackets

The majority of people that drown each year do so because they didn’t wear a lifejacket. This also is true for wearing a seatbelt in a car. Make sure everyone has a good fitting life jacket, and wear it! Modern life jackets are pretty fitting and don’t inhibit much movement.

 5.       Avoid Alcohol

One of the best ways to be safe during boating is to not mix alcohol and boats. The probability of being involved in an accident is doubled when alcohol is involved. Also, the effect of alcohol is greatly increased by the sun and wind.

 6.       Learn to Swim

If you will be in and around water often, learning to swim is a great idea! There are many different organizations and local pools that offer swimming lessons for all ages, and some don’t even charge for them. The local YMCA also offers swimming classes.

 7.       Boaters Insurance

If you are a boat owner, it is important have boaters insurance. If someone is injured or if an accident does occur, you may be personally liable for the costs. Having boaters insurance is a great way to prevent risk.

Enjoy the beautiful summer weather and the lakes! Use these tips to help keep you safe and protected! Contact Wetzel Insurance Agency for any insurance needs or questions you may have.