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Boating Safety Tips

Nov 18, 2019

More deaths occur from people falling off boats that are 16 feet long or less, and most individuals involved in fatal boating accidents were not wearing life jackets.

Alcohol is frequently involved in boating accidents, and people who hunt or fish from boats have one of the highest fatality rates of all boaters.

Safety Tips

  • Always have a properly fitted life jacket (also known as a personal flotation device – PFD) on board for each passenger. (See Life Jacket Safety Chart.) Make sure that anyone who cannot swim (especially children) wears a life jacket.
  • Never mix boating and alcohol.
  • Realize that accidents occur from falling off boats as well as from unsafe driving.
  • If you or a child falls into the water, leave clothing on, as it conserves heat.
  • Have emergency distress signals, both visual and broadcast, on-board.
  • Know the boat’s capacity, and take care not to overload it.
  • Keep a constant eye on the weather.
  • Know your water terrain.
  • Take a safe boating course.
  • Approach docks or stationary objects slowly.

For more information, contact:

  • United States Coast Guard 800-368-5647
  • United States Coast Guard Auxiliary 202-267-1001
  • Boat U.S. 703-823-9550
  • United States Power Squadron 888-367-8777

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