Boating Season & Safety
WE are sure many of you have will be out on the water this upcoming weekend .. as part of our safety preparedness month we will be supplying you with some water and boating safety tips..
Did you know Boating Under the Influence is illegal in every state!!!
Just like drinking and driving boating and driving can be just as dangerous or even more so. While drinking affects balance, coordination, judgment and vision, they can al l increase your risk of getting into a boating accident. Over 1/3 of all boating fatalities involves alcohol. While you and your friends may want to have a good time just as with driving a car have a designated driver for your boat.
As with driving the car the penalties can be similar and can include fines, suspension or revocation of your driver's license and even jail time.
To understand that while boating the drinking and drugs affect the safety of all involved even more so than in a car because if you were to go overboard your coordination could be insufficient to keep you afloat. Knowing the affects of the drugs and alcohol can save you and your passengers lives.
Making sure you know the current and predicted weather for your time out on the water is pivotal to staying safe of on the water. Wave conditions should always be obtained before going out as well as a way to receive updates while out on the water as they can change quickly. Not having this information can save your life and make you aware of upcoming threatening conditions.
Some of the types information you should obtain needs to include, any significant weather moving in and the time frame, how rough the seas are near the shore waters, as well as how high they will be further out and for how long they are predicted to be that way. Another important factor should always be the wind speed and direction.
Please keep in mind that a marine forecast will include a vast area as well as an average for a given area and may not apply to every section for the same duration of time. The times given tend to be for a Marine forecasts cover large areas and the forecast elements are often given in ranges. The significant weather may not occur over the entire area or during the entire forecast hour interval and depending on what time of day it is could vary. Planning ahead for either more or less than what is predicted should always be done.
Many water weather events can come on suddenly and can adversely affect smaller crafts, pay close attention to small craft advisories and gale storm warnings. Any sudden increase of winds in excess of 35 knots or 40 mph will result in special warnings as will hail and waterspouts. In addition to the previous weather conditions there can also be sudden changes such as extreme rain, snow ( depending on the time of the year) , dense fog which can result in dangerous navigation issues, and thunder storm development.
Always check www.weather.gov/marine before heading out. Also make sure you have the right equipment for the distance you will be traveling away from the shore to keep you updated on the weather. Moving beyond 25 nautical miles from shore requires a much stronger receiver and it is suggested you obtain a satellite phone. If you are ever in any doubt check with your local boating supply company and they will be able to guide you.
We all know that you need to have life jackets , we all know they should be on because should an emergency arise there is too much chaos to get them on. What I bet you did not know was that 85 of all drowning from boat accidents occur because someone was not wearing a life jacket.
It is required by law that you have a Coast guard approved life jacket for every person that will be aboard your boat. The life jacket is the single most effective tool for safe boating you can provide your passengers. Their life could depend on it make sure everyone has the right size and the that is has the proper safety ratings.
Life Jackets are not your mothers old styles they have a wide array of colors, shapes depending on the activites you will be doing as well as sizes. In addition they are much more comfortable and lighter weight than they used to be allowing for a lot more freedom to move around and perform any activity.
Please make sure that you not only have the life jacket but that you use it. Wear it and be safe.
But above all else ******HAVE FUN OUT THERE FOLKS******
The following is a safe boating message from the National Safe Boating Council and the National Weather Service for this year's National Safe Boating Week.
- S. Coast Guard approved, marine-type fire extinguishers are required on boats where a fire hazard could be expected from the engines or fuel system.
When required, boats less than 26 feet must carry at least one B-I, Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher. Boats 26–40 feet must carry two B-I or one B-II Coast Guard approved fire extinguisher(s). Boats 40 - 65 feet must carry three B-I or one B-II and one B-I Coast Guard approved extinguishers.
Fire extinguishers are classified by a letter and a number symbol. The letter indicates the type of fire the unit is designed to extinguish and the number indicates the size of the extinguisher. A type B extinguisher for example is intended to extinguish burning liquids such as gasoline, oil or grease, all common on a boat.
The boater shouldn't have to travel more than half the length of their boat to get to the fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers should be inspected annually by the boater to ensure they are properly charged, stored and are undamaged.
Why are thunderstorms so dangerous on the water? They can develop very quickly and when over water the waves and wind can become exceptionally powerful. With nothing in their way and the shifting air and water currents waterspouts ( tornadoes over water) are not uncommon. The other thing that makes them dangerous is the fact that the water feeds moisture into the air which allows for torrential rain and bout of extreme wind gusts. This turmoil can create a lot of lightening which we all know will aim for metal and water and electricity do not mix making things very volatile.
Unlike hurricanes and other storm warning there is no such predictor for lightening. When you see it get below deck or to the lowest point in the boat. DO NOT TOUCH anything metal or electrical. Should your boat get struck by lightening make sure you have your life vests on incase it sinks and always make sure your phones or emergency call equipment has a batter back up incase of loss of electronics.
It is not always easy to get back to shore when a storm arrises but having a plan is an essential part of keeping you all safe. It is best to not go out if a storm is predicted but can not always be avoided. Keep your eyes on the sky for weather changes and if you see something work on getting back to shore as soon as possible. Thunderstorms move quickly so if you can not get back to port get to the lowest point of the boat and try and ride it out.
We do not get too many hurricanes up here in New England but when we do they are doosies.. Keep your eye on the weather because once they issue the warning it is much to late if you hear of a storm watch that is the time to secure your boat to the docks or haul your boat out of the water. If you see that a hurricane is moving up the coast be alert the winds arrive first.