Boating safety begins even before you get near the water. Good planning and preparation can ensure a safe trip, filled with fun activities, and companionship with family and friends. As the boat owner, you have the responsibility to do all that you can to protect the passengers on your craft, as well as other people with whom you share the waterway.
Proper Boat Maintenance
Before taking your boat on the water, make sure it is in good operating condition. Maintenance should include both the exterior of the craft, as well as inspection of mechanical parts. Take advantage of boat checks offered by local boating organizations, the Coast Guard, or other groups.
Experienced boat owners always research weather conditions in the boating area so that they can be alert to the possibility of hazardous conditions on the water. They also stay alert to any changing weather conditions while they are out on the water, and head for land immediately at any sign of storms or lightning.
Have A Float Plan
Tell a family member remaining on land or someone at the marina about your plans for boating on Connecticut waters. This measure will make it easier to find you if you have a problem while boating.
Designate An Assistant Captain
Boat owners find it helpful to designate one person to act as an assistant. This person can help with lines when docking, staying alert to obstructions in the water, weather conditions, and other problems that can arise.
Enforcing On-Board Safety
It's the owner's responsibility to ensure that guests on the boat behave in a safe manner at all times to avoid endangering him or others. The owner must provide instructions about sitting when the boat is in motion, wearing life vests, and not creating a hazard for others on board.
If you are driving a boat, you are as legally responsible for the safe operation of the vehicle as if you were driving a car. Avoid alcohol when you are captaining your craft, and ensure that others who are drinking do not take a turn at the controls. Sober operation of the craft will ensure you have a safe and successful day on the water.