Briefing people once they are on board the boat is an often overlooked, but a very important safety measure.

Those that have taken cruises on large ships will recall practicing safety drills before the ship disembarks.

Too often, we assume the crew or passengers have more experience than they actually have or fail to understand they may have certain medical problems.

These could be a factor should they fall overboard or other issues arise while on the water.

Remember, not everyone is a good swimmer or comfortable on the water. Casually asking questions or listening to their comments will guide you as to any concerns to be addressed.

To add to everyone’s comfort level, point out the location and use of safety equipment such as fire extinguisher location, PFD’s, first aid kit, how to operate the VFH radio in an emergency or who to call on a cell phone. Show how to turn off the engine in case it is needed.

Discuss the importance of keeping hands and feet inside the boat, and where you would like them to sit to maintain proper boat stability.

Weight distribution is especially important in smaller boats. Finally, everyone wants to help you, so indicate what is expected, if anything, of the crew when leaving or returning to the dock or underway.

Are you interested in joining a boating club on Grand Lake to have fun, plus the opportunity to take courses online or in the classroom to improve your boating skills and knowledge?  Visit online americasboatingclub.org or usps.org/grandlake, on Facebook: America’s boating club-grand lake for more information.

Boating Safety - Did You Know
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