Boating and Water Safety at the Beach
It’s been getting warmer and warmer here on the Virginia coast, signaling the return of beach days, boat trips, and more on-the-water fun.
A sunny day can quickly turn dark if someone is injured while swimming or using a boat or Jet Ski — but don’t worry! A few simple safety precautions will keep you and your loved ones safe when enjoying a day at the beach.
Keep the Proper Safety Equipment on Board
Keeping your boat stocked with all of the items you will need in case of an emergency will ensure you are always prepared.
A few items that you should have on your boat at all times include:
- Life jackets and other floatation devices
- First aid kit
- Fire extinguisher
Maintain Your Boat
A well-maintained boat is a safe boat. If you are going to use your boat, all repairs should be up to date. Maintenance issues can contribute to accidents, and regular fixes will keep the need for expensive future repairs at bay.
Take a Class to Learn Proper Boating Procedures
Operating a boat is complex, and to do so safely, you should receive the proper training. A comprehensive boating class will teach you how to drive, anchor the boat, and dock correctly, among other necessities for boat operation.
If you are renting a boat or Jet Ski, the rental business may offer classes. Ask about a renter’s training program before choosing their company.
Don’t Use Alcohol or Drugs
To safely operate a boat or personal watercraft, you should never be intoxicated. Even if you are not driving and are just a passenger, stay sober! The risk of injury is too high to endanger yourself by drinking alcohol or using drugs.
Check the Weather
This tip is something you may already do before a day on the water: Check the weather! This quick preparation step will let you know not only if it’s going to be warm and sunny enough to have a great beach day, but will warn you of any potential form storms. If there is even a small chance that it’s going to storm on the day you are planning on taking your boat out, it may be best to stay on land.