Boat on the Ocean

Top 5 Boating Safety Tips

Sail Boat on the waters

Don’t let a summer outing take a tragic turn! We’re kicking off Boating Safety Month with some top tips on how to stay safe this boating season:

  1. ALWAYS wear a life jacket. Don’t just stow them on your boat! The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) estimates that life jackets have saved the lives of at least 80% of boating accident victims.
    • Try to wear your life jacket throughout the duration of your boat ride. Accidents can happen quickly, and there isn’t always time to reach for your stowed life jacket. A life jacket can only save your life if you wear it!
    • Be sure to adhere to your state’s life jacket regulations in accordance with the number and age of occupants on board, as well as the size of your vessel. To see if you’re following your state’s regulations, click here.
  2. Stay up to date with your boating education. As a boater, you can never know too much about boating safety. Here are some available boating safety courses!
  3. Protect yourself from potential carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO poisoning is preventable!
    • CO from engine exhaust builds up inside and outside of the boat in areas near exhaust vents. Stay away from these areas while the engines or generator are running.
    • Ensure that you have a functioning, battery-operated CO detector on board.
    • Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and save a life!
  4. You don’t drink and drive—don’t drink and operate a boat, either. Boating under the influence (BUI) can be just as deadly as driving under the influence (DUI). There are a few ways you can avoid boating under the influence:
    • Bring a variety of soft drinks aboard instead of alcohol.
    • If you do drink alcohol, dock your boat and wait one hour per alcoholic beverage before operating your boat again.
    • Bring plenty of food and water on board.

    Click here for some more U.S. Coast Guard anti-BUI initiatives!

  5. Know how to file an accident report with the USCG. We hope that these tips prevent you from becoming involved in a boating accident this summer, but in case you are, here’s how to file an accident report in accordance with the State Reporting Authority.