Boating can be one of the most enjoyable summer activities if executed safely. We’ve gathered the best ways to ensure your safety while on your boat this summer.
According to the Canadian Red Cross, on average, there are 166 deaths a year from boating-related incidents. Don’t let bad decisions get in the way of a fun, boating-filled summer. Ensure you make safety a priority while on the water this season.
A Straightforward Guide to Summer Boat Safety
When it comes to being prepared for the boating season, it begins at the beginning of the season. You should pack the boat with safety equipment in advance and double-check you have everything you need before you head out this summer.
Items that are necessary to include are whistles, first aid kit, anchor, life vests, and possibly some paperwork, licence(s), and permits depending on the type of boat you have. Make sure you try on your life vests to ensure they fit properly. Did you know that 24% of boating fatalities occur when a lifejacket is present on board but not worn? (Source: Canadian Red Cross)
#2 Make A Plan
If you’re planning on visiting our top five boat destinations tourists and locals love in Ontario, you’ll want to establish a plan prior to getting into the boat. Not only should you pack in advance, but you should also plan out your trip, too. Ontario Parks suggests knowing your route and using official nautical charts when organizing your boating trip. This way you will always be sure where you are headed, and having a plan means you can let others know where you’ll be in case of an emergency.
Also, there are many reasons why using a boating trip plan is paramount – however, most notably, BoatSmart explains, “Your plan document should always be left with a responsible person who knows what to do in case of emergency. Even for a short boating trip, you should let a responsible person know where you will be boating when you are expected to arrive home and the distinguishing features of your boat,” read more here.
#3 Practice Good Habits
Good decisions and good habits will make a difference for your safety when boating. Even though drinking and boating seem to be a common combination, it is a dangerous and illegal one. Always refrain from drinking and driving your boat. This is not only for your safety but for the safety of anyone on the water. Alcohol is a factor in about 40 percent of all boating fatalities so avoid being part of this statistic.
Also, considering the global pandemic, please be sure to follow our guidelines for COVID-19 safety while boating.