Summer is here! Here in the CSRA, it gets HOT! Which usually leads to a lot of time spent on the water.  In the pool, at the beach, or on the lake, we have a lot of water recreation to help keep us cool. But when it comes to spending that time outdoors, it’s important to remember water and boating safety tips and rules!

Staying Safe on the Water is for Everyone

While you mostly think about the kids staying safe in the water, unfortunately we hear horror stories of adults in accidents or drownings all too often.  It’s important that everyone is educated and stay alert to the dangers of the water.  Sure, we all want to have fun.  But that fun won’t last if someone is injured or killed due to lack of attention.

Boating Safety

BoatTests101.com is a NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators)-approved site that has courses for people in certain states to get their boating license online. They recently shared their Top 10 Boating Safety Tips for National Safe Boating Week.

Why is boating safety important? Because knowing safety, etiquette and the rules of the water could save a life.  According to BoatTests101.com, 63.4 percent of boating accidents that happen in the United States are with very experienced boaters (with no training).

Even if you’ve spent many hours on a boat, it’s always great to refresh your boater safety knowledge.  This can prevent accidents and save lives.  Not only for the driver of the boat, but passengers on the boat should also know the rules.

See some of the boating safety tips below.


And for the pool? Check out these fun pool essentials the kids will love!

  • Boating Safety Tips

  • 1. Wear a Life Jacket

    Even strong swimmers have lost battles against the water. Wearing a life jacket is important when on a boat. Choose a life jacket that fits properly and is designed for the activity you’re participating in.

  • 2. Don't Boat Under the Influence

    Just like on the road, boating under the influence can be tragic.  Substances and alcohol should be avoided to prevent accidents.  These things affect your ability to focus.  Boaters under the influence cause one-third of all boating fatalities.

  • 3. Carry Proper Safety Equipment

    Having the right safety equipment on board can make all the difference.  Make sure you also know how to properly use the items.  Fire extinguishers, lights, flares, bailers, sound signals, navigation aids, flags, etc. Check the condition of all equipment and any expiration dates before hitting the water.

  • 4. Don't Overload the Boat

    Your boat will have a capacity plate with the recommended weight of passengers and gear.  It’s important to follow this.  Also, make sure to load the boat evenly to keep the boat stable.

  • 5. File a Float Plan

    Make sure someone is aware of your boating plans.  Let them know when you will leave, and your plan for return.  Also, plan ahead for how you’ll check in if you get off course, or are delayed. It’s important to know how to use VHF radios, emergency locator beacons, satellite phones, and cell phones to call for help.

  • 6. Check the Weather

    Check well ahead of time, and then check again closer to your departure.  You’ll also want to check in during your trip.  Storms can lead to disaster for boaters.  If you do get caught in a storm, head toward shore as quickly as possible.

  • 7. Stay Focused

    As mentioned in the boating under the influence tip, staying focused is important for the safety of everyone on board. Things can change in an instant.  Staying aware of your surrounds and paying attention to your actions can save lives. Be aware of other boaters, fishermen, divers, swimmers, etc.

  • 8. Slower is Safer

    Going fast may seem like fun… but it’s important to follow any posted speed signs.  You should slow down when it’s congested, when you’re near wildlife areas, and if people are fishing, swimming or diving. And of course, slow it down when you’re coming in to dock the boat.

  • 9. Know Navigation Rules

    You should know navigation rules like how to signal or pass other boats.  And never assume other boaters will follow the rules.  Be aware and alert, and prepare to compensate for those who are not operating safely.

  • 10. Obey the Laws