We’re waving goodbye to winter and saying a warm hello to spring. As the weather warms up, so does our excitement about getting our boats back onto the water. Before you head out for a day of fun, there are some important precautions you must remember to take so you and your guests can remain safe.
Every boater takes boater safety very seriously. Just like you check your engine, belts and the working order of your boat, you should also prepare the proper safety equipment. Planning ahead to make sure you have the recommended safety gear is critical.
Be sure to make a checklist of supplies you’ll need so you can be ready in case of an emergency. We’ve collected a few important items to add to your list of “must-have” safety items which you can review below.
Each person on your boat should have an approved personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket. It’s a simple precaution, but extremely important. Using a lifejacket can save you from unforeseen circumstances on the water. It’s not a bad idea to have several sizes of lifejackets available so it can be sized appropriately for the person who will be wearing the jacket.
If you’ve been boating for a while, you know that sudden storms can wreak havoc. Having a bailing device on board your boat will save you the headache, and panic, if your boat begins to fill with water.
Another helpful tool during storms or any situation with reduced visibility is a sound-signaling device. If two power-driven vessels are within half a mile from each other, they must use a sound signal. You can use a whistle, compressed gas horn, or an electric horn.
Fire extinguishers are not required on all motorboats but are necessary on inboard motorboats, fixed fuel tank boats, and any fuel burning unit. While it may not be required for your type of boat, it’s still highly recommended to have one onboard. We recommend a Class 5BC Fire Extinguisher.
It may go without saying but having a complete first aid kit on board will be an asset to any boating trip, even if it is just peace-of-mind. Click here to purchase an Aquatic First Aid Kit.
It is required that boats carry a waterproof flashlight or three Canadian-approved flares. In the event of an emergency, it’s important to have a device that will allow you to give a signal in order to be seen and rescued.
The Coast Guard encourages all boaters to use a VHF-FM radio. This radio can be used for distress calling. The VHF-FM radio has superior reach and is a safer bet than cell phones while on the water.
Before heading to the water, make sure you have all the necessary safety items in your boat in case of an emergency. It’s also important to inspect your safety gear periodically to make sure it is in good working order. We hope you have an enjoyable and safe boating experience this season!