Simplify boat safety
Follow these easy-to-remember tips
To help you avoid becoming a U.S. Coast Guard statistic, BoatUS Foundation recommends a new version of the familiar K.I.S.S. principle (Keep it simple, stupid!), with a bent for boating safety:
Keep your life jacket handy. This means readily accessible and within reach, not in its plastic bag or behind compartment doors buried under junk. Better yet, wear it. You’d be surprised at how comfortable and slim today’s inflatable life jackets are.
Instruct your passengers on where to sit and how to move about the boat safely. This applies to all boats, but the smallest ones can have the biggest problems: swamping, large wakes and overloading can turn your day into one you’d rather forget.
See that all passengers are briefed on where emergency equipment is kept and how to use it. Demonstrate how to use the VHF radio, and explain what everyone needs to do in case someone falls overboard (designate a spotter).
Share your float plan with someone ashore; include where you’re headed and when you expect to return. The simple act of telling someone has been demonstrated to greatly reduce a rescuer’s response time.