It’s the midst of summertime, and that means the waters are filled with boaters. Whether experienced or new, it’s always a good time to have a refresh on boating safety; from regulations for safety to common sense practices on the water.
Boating regulations vary from region to region. Familiarize yourself and others who will be joining you on the water with safe boating practices. Owning a boat comes with the responsibility of the safety of all your passengers and other boaters on the water.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) requires one type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device (PFD) for each passenger onboard. These PFDs must be designs approved by the USCG and the correct size for the wearer for emergency situations. The PFDs must be easy to access and don in case of an emergency (not placed in locked or non-easily accessible areas). A PFD should be worn at all times your boat is operating; it needs to be on in order to save your life. Some states require PFD’s be worn by children under a certain age at all times. In addition, all boats over 16’ are required to carry at least one type IV PFD. Type IV PFDs are throwable and must be available for immediate deployment at all times while on the water. You can find more information on PFDs on the USCG website: https://www.dco.uscg.mil/CG-ENG-4/PFDSel/
Safety labels are broken into four categories: Danger, Warning, Caution, and Notice. Familiarize yourself with all the labels onboard your boat to ensure ongoing performance of all components.