Boating safety should be your top priority whenever you get out on the water. As the fall season approaches, there will be plenty of great opportunities for people who want to fish, hunt or just enjoy the water. There will also be some unique safety challenges.
The Wildlife Fishery Department warns that the fog, along with colder water can add some safety concerns. Louisiana had 22 deaths from boating accidents last year. Here’s a look at some things you can do to help bring that number down to zero.
5 Tips Boating Safety Tips for Louisianans
- NEVER drink while operating a boat: You shouldn’t drink and drive, and you shouldn’t drink and boat. If you are operating the vehicle, you should avoid drinking altogether. Even as a passenger, you should still watch yourself. If something happens, you may need a sharp mind to get to safety.
- Keep your phone in a safe, dry place: A cell phone is an important safety tool. It lets you call for help if there is an accident or medical emergency. If the device has water damage it isn’t going to help though. Keep your phone in a secure, dry place to ensure you have a connection to the outside world.
- Be careful after dark: For obvious reasons, many boating accidents happen after dark. It might seem like you can see, but drive with the assumption that there are obstacles you are missing. Always keep you lights on after dark, and travel at slower speeds.
- Keep your life jacket on: The law requires anyone under 16 to wear a life jacket on the water, but there’s an argument that everyone should take this precaution. If an accident happens, you might fall into the water hurt or unconscious. Even if you are a strong swimmer, that jacket could save your life.
- Have an emergency plan: If something goes wrong, the chaos can get the better of you. Coordinate with you family or friends on the boat to make sure everyone knows what the plan is if something goes wrong. Go over possible emergencies and get on the same page.
Boating can be a great outdoor activity. Just remember when you get out there that people are counting on you to come home safe. Going over some of the risks and building a plan to stay safe will make a huge difference on the water.