All Hands On Deck! 4 Tips To Boat Safety

Guest Post

Boating Safety Tips GPImage Source

Recreational activities such as boating, jet skiing and tubing can be fun and exhilarating, but can come with some safety concerns. Because approximately 75 percent of all boating accidents are due to the errors in operations, you’ll want to follow the below four safety tips before getting behind the wheel.

1. Wear A Life Jacket

Close to 750 people die in accidents related to boating every year, and the majority occur during the summer months. Vacationers and weekend visitors come to the lake for an escape and to have fun traversing the open waters. Unfortunately, many boaters fail to follow the proper rules and regulations to ensure their safety while boating.

Life safety vests are the biggest concern for boaters, and close to 95 percent of the victims who drowned had failed to wear a life jacket. The vests can be bulky and cumbersome and many feel that they hinder their fun. However, even the strongest of swimmers can have difficulty swimming, especially when in an accident.

2. Avoid Alcohol

Operating a boat and drinking alcohol can be a deadly combination, especially during the summer season when the waters are busier than normal. Unfortunately, alcohol is involved in close to 25 percent of all boating accidents and can cause serious injuries and fatalities.

The engine noise of the boat, glare of the sun, temperature and vibration can all increase the effects of alcohol. In some cases, a boater can find their impairment even worse than getting behind the wheel of a car after a night of drinking. With their judgment and perception capabilities at an all time low, collisions are more likely to happen. Alcohol can also increase hypothermia and reduce your rate of survival in cold lake waters.

3. Follow The Rules

Dependent on the state in which you reside, you’ll find an assortment of boating regulations and laws that you must follow. Before taking your boat out, you need to be responsible and take some time to familiarize yourself with the guidelines in your specific state. The rules can be anything from following a particular speed limit, crossing various spots in the water, to  ensuring your boat is equipped with safety devices and lighting.

The Coast Guard or other law enforcement boating officers can inspect your boat at any time to make sure that you comply with the specific regulations.

4. Stay Alert

Taking your eyes off the waters for just a moment can cause you to run into another boater, water skier, tuber or swimmer. Staying alert and keeping both hands on the wheel of the boat can ensure your own safety and the security of the other passengers in the boat. If you feel drowsy or are unable to handle the boat properly, you need to designate another driver to get you back safely to your destination.

The summer months are ideal for boating fun and adventure but it’s also a year round activity. However, before you navigate the open waters, you want to follow the above tips to provide a safe environment for you and your family.

Nadine Swayne presents these tips to all boaters taking to the water. Attorney Kevin W. DeVore, found online at, can offer more information about DUI and steps to take if you are unfortunately injured while out on the water on vacation.


  1. These are great safety tips. You can’t be too careful when boating. I love to go boating but I’m always super cautious as I can’t swim!

  2. Boat safety is extremely important… I don’t wear a jacket on the boat, but I always make sure there is enough for everyone.

  3. Boat Safety is so important. I only wish I had a boat. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the reminder. It amazes me how often people don’t follow the most basic of safety measures.

  5. I was just watching a rerun of some reality show and they definitely weren’t following these safety rules.

  6. can i say we have idiot here in mo they did not wear jacket and going to fast and then we have ahd a lot of death in mo

  7. Booze and water don’t mix even if we do like to sing along to “The Redneck Yacht Club.” 😉

  8. I’ll never understand why people would go on the water while under the influence, that just doesn’t make sense to me. Good tips!

  9. we never really go boating but these are some great tips that I will be passing along to a few friends that own boats.

  10. Avoid alcohol is a huge one. Too many people see weekend boating as a drunken party, without taking the danger into account.

  11. I grew up in a lake community and it was so sad how many deaths and accidents occurred because people did NOT leave alcohol off the boats.

  12. It does boggle the mind about how many people will get on a boat drunk and how few got on one with a life jacket.

  13. Great tips! I am a stickler for making sure life jackets are always worn properly.

  14. A great (and well-timed) post — right in the middle of boating season. I’m not a boater but these common-sense tips should be read by everyone that goes on a boat.

  15. All really great tips that more boaters need to follow.

  16. These are all great tips, you can’t ever be too careful when out on the water! Sadly, even when you are careful, there are still those crazy people out there that act like they have no common sense.

  17. great tips safety first

  18. I think we all forget about boat safety at times. Thanks for the reminder!

  19. Great tips – I grew up with a motor boat and a sail boat – so many fun memories!

  20. Boat safety is so important! So many accidents on the lake.

  21. These are great safety tips and its not limited to just boat it applies to all automobile, except maybe #1 – wear a life jacket 🙂

  22. I hear of so many adults drowning at our local lake simply because they weren’t wearing a life jacket. Safety is an absolute must!

Comments are closed.