Experiencing the open waters, basking in the sun, and sharing boat moments with loved ones is truly unparalleled. However, it’s essential to acquaint yourself with proper boating safety measures before you set off, ensuring a risk-free and enjoyable time on the water.
The Media Benefits Insurance Services (MBIS) experts at First Entertainment Credit Union* share these important boating safety tips.
1. Learn the Ropes of Operating a Boat
Learning the ins and outs of boating and operating a boat is essential. Most states require boat operators to pass some form of boating education, which helps new boaters with best practices, safety techniques, and waterway laws.
2. Check That Everything is Working and That You Have Safety Equipment
Before heading out, ensure the boat’s mechanics are in working order. Make sure that safety equipment is on the boat, including life jackets, fire extinguishers, and emergency supplies. You should also have a life jacket for each person on board because it can be the difference between life and death in bad weather or if someone is injured.
3. Understand the Ways of the Water
Just like on land, there are rules to maneuver in the water with other boats. Before pulling away from the dock, make sure you know which direction you must take from the dock. You should also know which boat has the right of way, where you can and can’t stop, and the speed in the wake zone.
4. Check the Weather
Weather can significantly impact water conditions, so you should check the weather forecast before leaving the dock. If the forecast calls for strong winds, rain, or storms, it’s best to stay off the water.
5. Don’t Drink and Drive
Drinking while driving a boat is not only against the law but also extremely dangerous. The U.S. has passed a federal law against Boating Under the Influence (BUI). Drugs and alcohol significantly affect motor skills, judgment, and reaction time, leading to deadly accidents, expensive fines, and even jail time.
6. Don’t Leave Any Passenger Behind
Boating comes with distractions, such as conversations, laughing, music, and noise from other boats. Be sure to check that your party is safely aboard before pulling away from the dock or after tubing, swimming, or wakeboarding.
7. Put Together Safety and Tool Kits
You should always have a first aid and tool kit on board. Your tool kit should include a flashlight, bucket, and duct tape. And make sure you know who to call in case of an emergency.
8. Know Where You Are
Make sure you know where you are and how to return to your original destination. Getting lost is no fun – but even if you do get lost, you need to be able to tell others where to find you.
9. Power Off the Engine Before Entering the Water
Before entering, exiting, or swimming near the boat, you should shut the engines off to avoid injury.
10. Follow the Rules
The driver or owner of the boat should always set safety rules for passengers. Any passenger who doesn’t follow the safety rules should be asked to leave the boat to ensure the safety of others.
Get a Free Insurance Quote from First Entertainment Credit Union Today!
Another important tip is ensuring your boat has the proper insurance protection. Contact one of our agents before you set sail for a free coverage check and quote. Our agents will find you the best rates for your watercraft.
- Cynthia Padilla (Main Office/Hollywood) – 323.845.4489
- Maria Valdez Okafor (Burbank Branch) – 323.845.4494
- Monique Garcia (Culver City Branch) – 888.800.3328 ext. 5146
You can schedule an appointment, get an insurance checkup over the phone, or visit our agents in either our Main Office on Forest Lawn Drive, our Culver City Branch on Washington Blvd., or our Burbank Branch on Olive Avenue.
Insurance services offered through Media Benefits Insurance Services CA Lic#0H99393, a DBA for Media Benefits Corp., which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of First Entertainment Credit Union.