For those from the north very few trips out of the country would feel complete without hitting the sunny seas in warmer climates throughout the world. Whether you are an underwater dweller with the scuba tank, hang ten on the surf board, a pompous character in linens at the yacht club or simply like to dribble around in your paddle boat around an interesting shoreline, you ought to be careful the dangers that come with getting your thrills in and around the water.
If you are feeling the urge to partake in aquatic recreational adventures, such as being dragged around by a boat-whether it’s in the air or in the water, make sure your health insurance is up to date. The Divers Alert Network provides a scuba diver disaster insurance-which is recommended before a scuba trip. It’s a blanket insurance covering events from tank decompression to equipment theft.
Be sure to do your research on any trips you have planned. Also remember to check your equipment before you leave to make sure everything is operating correctly.
For All My Outdoorsmen
Extreme sunburns can occur, whether it is a sunny or cloudy period of time spent on the water. If your intentions are to spend a day outdoors on your watercraft, sport sun block with a high SPF , as well as a cap and polarized sun glasses.
For All My Paddle Sports and Small Boats
- See out first hand instruction before your first on water adventure.
- Maintain balance and avoid jerky or sudden movements.
- Be adept in your swimming skills-especially in fast moving waters.
- Keep a lifejacket on tight around the body.
- Alcohol and boating are a dangerous combination.
- Bring a friend!
- Stay aware of your environment-most importantly around boats with engines as the waves from the motor can flood your dingy.
- Stay under capacity of the boat you’re riding in.
- Monitor the forecast and avoid severe climate or water warnings.
- Let a friend know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
- Keeping the load of the watercraft centered, balanced and below the half way mark is advisable.
- Be prepared if your boat capsizes.
- Load water for consumption and block up with sunblock.
- Always have a supply of rescue equipment.
- Most safety tips are created as general precautionary measures that apply to most water activities:
- Be aware of your environment. Whirlwinds have been known to appear out of nowhere and cause changes in the waters behavior.
- Beaches that are life guarded are ideal places to swim.
- Waves can knock the elderly and small children off balance.
- Alcohol and swimming are a dangerous mix.
- Give the water credit for its unstoppable nature. If you’re unsure as to the safety of being in the water-don’t risk it.
- Always try to swim with a friend
- Swimming in the surf is not the same as swimming in a pool or lake. Make a point to understand how to swim in it.
- Be conscious of water patterns. Especially abrupt strong movements that could pull you out off the shoreline.
- Stay away from wharfs and reefs as there are volatile changes that could catch you off guard.
- Stick close to the coast when swimming.
- Steer clear of stoney areas. They are usually wet, slippery and when waves fall on top of them they can knock you in and drag you off to sea.
- Always know the dangers and details of the area of water you decide to engage in any water sport activity in.
- Be aware of coral. Touching will hurt it and walking on it will hurt you.
- Stay clear of jellyfish, urchin or large fish that may hurt you.
For All My Personal Water Craftsmen
- Whether your on a power boat or not, all safety measures apply equally.
- Keep abreast of the laws that govern the waters you are operating your watercraft on.
- Never boat at night since there are not any navigation lights.
- Never surpass the amount of people (or weight) that your boat is equipped to handle.
- Lifejackets are for all riders.
- Know your local water hazards
- Be sure to acknowledge the potential weather conditions and forecast for the day
- Be aware of your surroundings and how they are changing.
- Learn the tricks of the trade by taking certifiable watercraft safety lessons.
- Apply all safety precautions to ALL water activities.
- Keep a list of the equipment, tools and any items you may need at any time-as well as keep everyone in the know as to the whereabouts of all the emergency items.
- Knowledge of your watercraft is essential and includes: navigation, safety, boat handling, line handling, anchoring, troubleshooting engine problems and emergency response.
- Alcohol and boating are a dangerous mix. Don’t do it.
- Educate yourself to read nautical charts and learn the rules of navigation.
- Keeping a VHF Marine Radio on board is always a good idea as it will show your location in times of need.
- While the boat is in operation, using a kill switch lanyard is advisable. This will kill the engine if anything happens to the captain-such as falling over the rail.
- Always have an anchor onboard.
- He who fails to plan, plans to fail. Expect the worst so you will be prepared if it happens. Knowing CPR and taking first aid certification may save a life.
- Being on warm water is much different than being in cold water-especially in emergencies. Know the difference is tactics and safety measures.
- Give a neighbor your boat plan in the event of an unforeseen disaster.
- Keep an eye out for people in the water where they shouldn’t be. You are responsible for their safety, the waves your boat makes and your own course of actions.
- The good samaritan law applies to all boaters.
For All My Board Sailors
- Become knowledgeable of the basics from a professional.
- Starting sail in moderate conditions within a safe environment.
- Going out in adverse conditions is ill advised. Harsh winds may cause you to sail further than expected.
- Using a tether is smart-but not used to replace a life vest.
- Lower the sail and lie on the board if you end up tuckering yourself out.