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Boating Safety Tips

Updated: Mar 12

Boating is a fun and relaxing way to enjoy the water. However, it also comes with some risks and responsibilities you should know before heading out. In this blog post, we will share some boating safety tips that can help you prevent accidents, injuries, and emergencies on the water.

  1. Wear a life jacket. This is the most basic and vital boating safety tip. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 86% of boating fatalities in 2019 were due to drowning, and 84% of those victims were not wearing a life jacket. Life jackets can save your life if you fall overboard, capsize, or encounter rough waters. Ensure you have a properly fitting life jacket for every person on board. Children and inexperienced swimmers should always wear a life jacket, even when the boat is anchored or docked.

  2. Check the weather. Before boating, check the weather forecast for your area and destination. Avoid boating in stormy, windy, or foggy conditions, making navigation difficult and dangerous. If you notice dark clouds, lightning, or sudden changes in wind or temperature, get off the water as soon as possible. You can also use a marine radio or a smartphone app to monitor weather updates and alerts while on the water.

  3. Share your float plan. The U.S. Coast Guard recommends that you always notify a friend or family member where you intend to go, when you expect to return, and how they can contact you. If you do not return when anticipated, they will be able to provide the appropriate authorities information upon contact.

  4. Learn to swim. It’s never too late to learn how to swim. It’s an ability that helps keep you safe when sailing and allows you to enjoy the experience fully. Imagine all of the water activities you can take part in!

  5. Follow the rules of the water. Like driving on the road, boating on the water has some rules and regulations you must follow. These include speed restrictions, right-of-way laws, navigation lights, sound signals, etc. These guidelines are intended to keep everyone on the water safe and polite by preventing collisions and accidents.

  6. Boat sober. Alcohol and drugs can impair judgment, vision, balance, coordination, and reaction time. To prevent accidents, it is best to avoid alcoholic beverages when operating a boat.

Final Thoughts

Boating safety is not something to take lightly or ignore. By following these boating safety tips, you can reduce the chances of accidents and injuries and enjoy your time on the water more. If you’re coming to Chicago and want an unforgettable experience, connect with us today. Windy City Sailing provides a unique and exciting way to explore the beautiful city of Chicago – aboard our beautiful yacht, the Nebula. Whether you’re looking for an adventurous outing with your family or an intimate getaway, sailing on Lake Michigan with Windy City Sailing is a great way to take in the breathtaking views of the Windy City.

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