When planning for a boating trip it is incredibly important to prepare your safety equipment properly. This includes but is not limited to a flares, horn, water bailer and lifejackets. A trip plan is also an essential part of safe boating. A trip plan is basically contains information about where you plan to go boating. It should be filed with someone responsible that can take the proper steps should an emergency occur.
Lifejackets are essential for people of all ages. The misconception largely exists that if a child falls in the water an adult in decent physical condition will be able to save them. This is a very dangerous assumption as it is not always the case. Often a child that falls into the water will go below the surface of the water which means they may be hard to spot. Also, sometimes it is not immediately apparent that a child has fallen into the water. You may not even realize until it is already too late.
When someone falls overboard it is important to not immediately jump in after them to try to save them. Someone who is struggling to stay above water may unwittingly pull their potential rescuer under water with them. Instead, you should use the proper safety equipment such as safety buoys and rope which will float on the surface.
Hypothermia remains a large risk when boating in cooler waters. Someone who falls overboard could succumb to hypothermia thus limited their physical abilities and mental decisions. Their risk of survival drastically drops the longer they are in the water. Again, it is important not to jump in after them in an attempt to save them as the rescuer could themselves succumb to the cold waters.
Power lines are the most common cause of electrocution while boating. Proper care is rarely taken in ensuring that a metal part of the boat such as the mast touches a power line. This carelessness has led to many deaths or serious injuries over the years.
Careful consideration must be taken when determining the amount of effect the weather will have on your boating experience. Pay attention to the forecast ahead of time to make sure that bad weather is not approaching. Even while out on the water it is extremely important to pay attention to the marine forecast for your area as well as the colors and activity in the sky.