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VOL. 10 NO. 8
Take a class

3 tips for any boater

What to do when a summer thunderstorm strikes

Rough weather on the water

Recreational boaters and paddlers understand that late afternoon thunderstorms are common during the summer boating season. Here are three safety tips for any mariner or angler facing a powerful summer thunderstorm:

  1. Don’t let your guard down. Sometimes during the summer boaters are lulled into a sense that calm seas will prevail, but you should always be prepared. Make sure you have life jackets (and have them on), a handheld VHF radio and a Personal Locator Beacon.
  2. Don’t leave the boat. If caught out on open water and unable to seek cover, stay with your vessel, even if it’s overturned. Staying with an overturned boat gives rescuers a larger target to find.
  3. Watch your weight. Small craft are most prone to overloading. “Kayaks weighted with a lot of gear can lose buoyancy,” says BoatUS Foundation Assistant Director of Boating Safety Ted Sensenbrenner. “No matter what kind of boat, know your vessel’s capacity rating.”
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