Sailing can be a lovely way to spend a sunny day, particularly if you love the sense of freedom that comes with being out on the water. Whether it’s admiring the beauty of the coastline behind you or looking out to the horizon and getting lost in a daydream, spending time on a boat can be fun. Depending on where you are sailing, you might even choose to anchor and go for a dip in the sea or the lake. Yes, this is a great pastime for individuals and groups, but you must know how to stay safe when you’re out on the water. Below are some basic tips to help you do this.
Life Jackets, Floats, Flares, etc.
Before you go out onto the water, the first thing to do is to make sure that you have all the right emergency equipment on board with you. This includes things like life jackets, flares, rafts/floats, and even a first aid kit in case of minor injuries. Whistles and waterproof torches should also be on board. If this is your boat, make sure you have a kit on your vessel at all times, but if you are renting a boat for the day, ask the rental company about this.
Do Not Drink and Sail
Many people might enjoy the idea of having a cold beer, glass of wine, or a cocktail when they are out on the water, as this is relaxing and perhaps even a little glamourous in some cases. However, if you are the one responsible for steering the boat and taking charge of the sailing, you shouldn’t consume alcohol or anything else that could impair your judgment. You wouldn’t do this if you were driving a car, and a boat should be no different as this is one of the most common ways boating accidents happen. If you are involved in a boating accident, make sure that you call the emergency services and the coast guard to help you and any injured parties. Look here to see what is the first action required of a boat operator who is involved in a boating accident.
You should also make sure that you pay attention to what you’re doing and minimize distractions when you’re at the helm. Where possible, try to avoid areas that are popular with swimmers and other water sports enthusiasts to minimize your risk of hitting others in the water.
Listen to the Marine Forecast Before You Go
The weather outside might look bright and calm, but that doesn’t guarantee smooth sailing throughout the day. Always make sure that you listen to the marine forecast before you go out on your boat, especially if you are going out to sea, as the weather can turn quickly and unexpectedly and leave you in tumultuous and possibly dangerous waters.
If you find boats for sale online and are planning to enjoy some sailing alone or with your friends and family sometime soon, remember these basic boat safety tips to give you peace of mind.