Guidelines for Boating Safety - Boat Repair
Marine Services of Florida provides boat repair and maintenance covering a widespread territory of the state. We encourage boaters to follow safety rules and regulations to make boating fun and safe for everyone.
1. Wear a Life Jacket
It is required by law that you carry an approved personal floatation device, or life jacket, for each person aboard your boat. Some cautious boaters wear a life jacket at all times because you never know when an accident may occur and statistics have shown that nine out of ten drowning victims could have survived a capsizing or fall overboard if they had been wearing a life jacket.
2. Be Familiar with Your Boat
Knowing your boat is the basis of good seamanship. If you know your boat then you are better at navigation, boat and line handling, anchoring, troubleshooting engine problems, and appropriate emergency tactics, all of which are very important for safety.
3. Get Educated on Boating Safety
85 percent of boating accidents that involve loss of life will involve boaters who did not take boating safety courses. A boating course will teach you the basics of seamanship and is a worthwhile investment when considering the safety of your passengers.
4. Always Boat Sober - No Exceptions
Boating while intoxicated, or BUI, is illegal and heavy penalties are enforced by both state and federal agencies. Did you know using alcohol is even more dangerous on the water because the marine environment accelerates impairment? In boating deaths attributed to alcohol use, over half of the incidents involved capsized vessels or falls overboard.
5. Know the Rules of Navigation
Buoys and day boards help to navigate potentially dangerous waters and it is crucial you learn how to utilize them. A boating safety course will teach you to navigate using charts, GPS, RADAR, and a compass. Nautical charts should be kept on your boat so you are familiar with the area in which you are boating.
6. Get a Free Safety Check
Did you know the Coast Guard Auxiliary and the United States Power Squadron will inspect your boat free of charge? They will provide valuable guidance to help you meet the federal minimum safety requirements as well as advising you on the best responsible boating practices.
7. Invest in a VHF Marine Radio
The Coast Guard recommends using VHF marine radio Channel 16 as your primary distress signal. A VHF radio equipped with Digital Selective Calling (DSC) will generate a position to the Coast Guard in the event of an emergency. It is unadvisable to depend upon a cell phone that may or may not get a signal while you are out on the water - contact us to find out more about VHF marine radio sales and service in Florida.
8. Wear a Kill Switch Lanyard
Kill switch lanyards attach to the key that is placed in the ignition to power a boat. If the operator of the boat falls overboard or loses their balance, the boat is shut off automatically when the lanyard line pulls the key from the ignition. These fail safe accessories have the potential to prevent serious injuries to boaters.
9. Keep an Anchor on Board
Did you know that anchors are not just for mooring up? Using an anchor when your boat is adrift due to engine failure will keep you safely in one place until help arrives.
10. Leave a Float Plan
Always let someone know when you are going out on your boat and for longer trips, leave a written float plan with your marina, yacht club, or friend. A float plan includes a description of your boat, who is on board, a description of the safety equipment you are carrying, where you expect to be, and when you expect to be there.