November 7, 2011
Boating safely in the water
All favorite outdoor activities should be done safely? One all-time favorite activity enjoyed by many is boating on the water. Whether it is a twelve foot raft, or a forty foot yacht, there are many important items to consider before leaving the dock. For example, is there a personal flotation device for each passenger, to include the operator? What about alcoholic beverages? Did anyone bring any along or had anything to drink earlier; hope not, it is “illegal to drink alcoholic beverages and operate a boat in all fifty States” (Carro, 2010). What about fire extinguishers? Are they on board? Are they full? Are they mounted in an accessible location? If the boat has a motor, whether, electric or gas powered, at least one is required. It is essential that boating fun should always include boating safely. Boating safely often begins at home, assuming the boat is trailered to its destination. There are some questions to contemplate. Is the boat secured to the trailer and the trailer to the towing vehicle properly before leaving the driveway? How about that drain plug? There are many boaters who wonder why they take on water and they have not left the dock yet. Boaters sometimes slap themselves on the forehead and say…I forgot to install the drain plug. I have “been there, done that, got the t-shirt” as they say. At that point, there are one or two choices before the boat sinks, Grab the plug, take a swim, and install the plug, or pull the boat back out of the water and install it then. Either way there goes an hour of boating time an individual will never get back. The US Coast Guard says “recreational boating can easily become hazardous if safety is disregarded” (Dunlap, 2011). Another safety device often forgotten is the PFD or Personal flotation device. They are oftentimes used improperly or not at all contributing to passengers and crew drowning unnecessarily. Life...