SOUTHOLD, N.Y. – With National Safe Boating Week just around the corner, the Sea Tow Foundation – a nonprofit organization dedicated to the education and promotion of safe boating practices – wants to remind boaters everywhere about the importance of always keeping safety first and foremost when out on the water.
National Safe Boating Week is a focused, week-long event that brings awareness to the importance of safety prior to the start of the summer boating season. This year, National Safe Boating Week will be celebrated from May 19-25. The Sea Tow Foundation has compiled the following 7 tips to help boaters have a safe and enjoyable time on the water, each and every trip:
- Wear your life jacket. Life jackets save lives, but only if they are worn. While the law requires that they be carried on-board and only certain ages or activities require wearing them at all times, it is best to always wear a life jacket. If you don’t have enough life jackets for everyone on board, you can stop by a Sea Tow Foundation Life Jacket Loaner Station and borrow one for free! Simply return it at the end of your boating trip so that the next person can use it.
- Take a boating safety class.
Our friends at the U.S. Power Squadrons offer a number of courses to help freshen your skills and ensure you’ll be ready for that next boating trip. You can take a class in-person or online. Best of all, most insurance companies give a discount if you pass the course!
- Pledge to be or designate a sober skipper.
Boating under the influence is dangerous and illegal. Go to www.soberskipper.com today and pledge to be or designate a sober skipper. The lives you save could very well be your own.
- Carry an emergency beacon.
If you are planning on boating on unfamiliar waters or are planning a trip out to sea, visit the Sea Tow Foundation’s Beacon Rental Program and rent a PLB or EPIRB for your trip. Sponsored by ACR Electronics, this program allows boaters to sign up online and receive a beacon in the mail about a week before their trip. Upon returning home, simply send the beacon back – the return postage is even included.
- Utilize your engine cut-off switch.
Attach the engine cut-off switch to your life jacket when you are at the helm every single time you boat. This will ensure that the boat will stop if you are thrown overboard or knocked over by a large wake, stopping the engine before someone gets hurt.
- Have a float plan.
Before you head out on the water, tell a trusted friend or family member where you are going and when you plan to return so that if they do not hear from you by a certain time, you need help and that they should call the authorities. The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has a great form you can use for free.
- Renew your Sea Tow coverage.
Having peace of mind on the water is as simple as renewing your Sea Tow membership before the new season begins. Sea Tow Captains are standing by 24/7, 365 to answer your call and provide top-notch assistance on the water.
For more boating safety tips, please visit the Sea Tow Foundation at www.boatingsafety.com or follow them on Facebook.