With warmer weather finally here, many DHS employees are enjoying time on the water. It is important to remember that in addition to having fun, we also need to be prepared and have the appropriate equipment for our boating adventures.
- Life jackets are essential for safe boating whether you are on a motorized or non-motorized vessel. All boaters, including strong swimmers, should always wear life jackets in case someone falls off and is injured or becomes disoriented. Life jackets keep the wearer’s head above water so they can breathe and make rescues easier. Ensure your jacket is the proper size for your size and weight and that it is properly fastened.
- Set up a float plan and email it to a friend or family member before you leave. A float plan documents the description of your boat, who is on board, a list of your safety equipment, and where you expect to be and when. If you get caught in a storm or run into an emergency, sharing a float plan could save your life.
- Be sure to wear sunscreen and know the signs of heat related illnesses.
- Always confirm your first aid kit is fully stocked and restock any supplies, if necessary.
- Ensure all your battery-powered devices have fresh batteries.
- Make sure you have two communication devices that will work when wet such as a VHF radio and emergency locator beacon.
Visit the United States Coast Guard recreational boat safety page for more information. You can also download the USCG Boating Safety App, which features state boating information, a safety equipment checklist, free boating safety check requests, navigation rules, float plans, and resources to report pollution or suspicious activity.
With all your boating safety steps covered, you can enjoy a fun summer on the water with your friends and family.