Top 10 Ways To Stay Safe On The Lake
Whether you are going out for a morning fishing adventure or spending a whole day out and about on the water, here are the top ten ways to keep you afloat and enjoy your day.
10. Be Weather Wise
- Every great day starts with a great plan. Be sure to check the weather your local weather for the day and decide whether it is a safe day to go out on the water.
9. Don’t Trash The Lake
- It may seem juvenile to say, but a stray wrapper or disregarded trash can not only ruin the day for other boaters but can also ruin yours as well. Police are cracking down on littering and you can be faced with a severe fine if caught.
8. Be Familiar With The Islands And Their Policies
- There is nothing better than staying on an island with nothing but your friends and good times, however, be sure you know the rules and regulations of the islands. Leaving the island cleaner than you found it is always the golden rule but making sure that camp fires are safely put out and personal belongings are located can insure that the next person who uses the island enjoys it the same way you did.
7. Take Boating Course
- There is no better way of knowing the in’s and out’s of boating than to take a boating course. Check with your local Marinas to schedule a course or take an online course on how to effectively and safely navigate the lake this summer.
6. Life Jackets
- They are called Life Jackets for a reason. Each person on the boat must have a life jacket assigned to them, be readily accessible, in good and serviceable condition, and be properly sized before you depart. In case the worst comes, you want to be prepared.
5. Avoid Alcohol
- In 2012 there were 151 boating accidents in North Carolina, twenty-three of which were fatal. Having a good time is the main goal of any boating adventure and alcohol can be very tempting, but if you are the captain of the ship don’t make the mistake of operating it while over the legal limit. The probability of being in a boating accident doubles when alcohol is involved, and studies have shown that exposure to wind and the sun greatly exacerbate the effects of alcohol. If you find yourself drinking be sure to drink twice as much bottled water and wait an hour before you depart or designate another captain to safely bring you back home.
4. Appoint A Assistant Skipper
- Want to impress your friends? Appoint a skipper before you depart to be sure you aren’t the only set of eyes while out on the water. Be sure that the skipper knows how to handle the boat as well as knows proper boating and safety rules in case you are incapacitated or injured. Other names may be assigned but the final decision rests with the captain.
3. Inform Friends and Family Of Where You Will Be
- Murphy’s law states that “anything that can go wrong will go wrong”. With this is mind it is always important to let someone know that you are going to be out on the water and for how long. Whether it is a family, friend, or neighbor let someone know if you are going out on the water and to contact emergency services if you do not return.
2. Be Prepared
- Pack accordingly for your day. Be sure to bring plenty of bottled water and food whether it is sandwiches or crackers, you can’t go wrong with food. A cooler filled with ice with appropriate drinks inside is not required but sure helps when it’s a blistering hot day and trash bags are always good to have. Bring enough towels for everyone and remind your passengers to bring a change of clothes as well. Sunscreen is an important necessity to have as well as a first aid kit. Make sure you know how to perform CPR and if you don’t your local YMCA offers classes and will be happy to teach. Finally, be sure you have a fire extinguisher on board as well as a flare and emergency radio just so you are prepared for the worst.
1. Common Sense
- The most important tool you can take with you on any boating trip. Common sense knows to avoid large water crafts on the lake, travel at safe speeds at all times, be alert for swimmers and other items in the water, and . Common sense also knows to abide by buoys and other navigational aids. They were put there for a reason and you would be dumb not to follow them. Common sense knows when to go out on the lake and when to head home so be sure not to forget your common sense this boating season.
What do you think is the #1 way to stay safe on the lake? Let us know in the Comment Section below!