It's summertime and its great to get outdoors, maybe take a boat ride, do some fishing, all that fun stuff. Although it doesn't feel much like it in the last couple of days here in Northern Indiana, Many of us will hit the water this summer on boats, jet skis, canoes ect. If it floats on water, we will be on it. Don't let a beautiful day on the water turn tragic. Each year you hear of boating accidents. More deaths occur from people falling off boats that are 16 feet long or less, and most individuals involved in fatal boating accidents were not wearing life jackets. Alcohol is frequently involved in boating accidents. Please don't drink and boat! People who hunt or fish from boats have one of the highest fatality rates of all boaters. It might surprise you to learn that more people die every year in boat accidents than in trains or buses. Remembering some of these safety tips might help.
1. Always have a properly fitted life jacket( also known as a personal flotation device) on board for every passenger. Make sure that everyone who cannot swim ( especially children) wears a life jacket ( it is the law here in Indiana that all children under 13 year of age must wear a life jacket.
2 Never mix boating and alcohol!
3. Have emergency distress signals both visual and broadcast on board.
4. Know your boats capacity, and take care not to overload it.
5. On a pontoon, you are required to have a marine type fire extinguisher on board.
6. Realize that accidents occur from falling off boats as well as from unsafe driving.
7. Keep a constant eye on the weather. Know your water terrain. Approach docks or stationary objects slowly.
8. Learn about safety rules and get info on boating safety courses. A little knowledge goes along way. Learn how to be safe responsible boater and have fun.