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Memorial Weekend Boating Tips & Safety Guidelines

Memorial Weekend Boating Tips & Safety Guidelines

Safety Tips for Boating – Memorial Holiday

couples on a yacht

The unofficial start to summer boating season is almost here — also known as Memorial Weekend. With millions of people partaking in on-the-water fun, it is one of the busiest and most popular days for boating. For some people, it is a relaxing weekend spent cruising the waterways with family. For others, it is the perfect holiday to anchor down at a sandbar with close friends for some local camaraderie. Nonetheless, we can all agree that the most significant aspect of Memorial Day is celebrating those in our armed forces who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. No matter how you plan to spend Memorial weekend, here are some boating tips and safety guidelines to make the most out of your long weekend.

Safety first: lifejackets

Make sure you have enough lifejackets on board for every person, including yourself. Not only is this the law, but also critical in case trouble strikes while out on the water. Check your state laws for life vest protocol for children onboard. In Florida, all children under the age of six must wear a USCG-approved vest at all times while the vessel is underway.

Knowledge is power onboard:

Keep everyone onboard informed of safety essentials including the whereabouts of life vests, ditch bags, VHF radio, etc.

Don’t drink and operate a boat:

Did you know the majority of boating accidents involve alcohol? Not to mention, a BUI is involved in 1/3 of all recreational boating fatalities. With that in mind, be responsible with alcohol onboard and designate a sober licensed boater to operate this Memorial holiday.

Always inspect your boat before departure:

Avoid any potential boating mishaps by performing a thorough inspection of your boat before the big weekend. Double-check all systems and batteries are working and fully charged, and all necessary safety gear is ready to go. Also, having an extra fuel tank on board is never a bad idea as well.

Location, location, location:

Decide on your destination, and familiarize yourself with routes, speed zones, and navigational landmarks. Once a plan is in place, be sure to file a float plan to keep others in the loop.

Check the weather prior to a boat day:

Although an obvious tip, weather conditions are constantly changing at a moment’s notice, it is necessary to keep an eye out for developing storms before and during boating. In the unfortunate event that you are caught in a storm, view tips to remember when boating in bad weather.

Be aware:

Last but not least, be aware of your surroundings when boating at all times. Especially during Memorial Day weekend when waterways are busy, and more than likely, others are partaking in alcohol consumption.

We wish you a safe and fun Memorial weekend on the water. Check out the top six Memorial Day activities on the water to enjoy by boaters everywhere.

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