What should I know about boating safety?

If you own a boat in Louisiana, you likely know that safety is crucial. Not only can taking the proper precautions safeguard you and your passengers, but it can also prevent the need for costly repairs or legal recrimination. DiscoverBoating.com offers the following tips to help you be a safety-minded boater.

Create a float plan

A float plan is essential if your vessel becomes lost. Float plans must include your name and contact info, names and contact info for all those on board, where the boat was headed to, the type of boat and its registration information, and information on communication equipment. File your float plan with a loved one, as well as someone at your local marina.

Designate a second-in-command

Another person on the boat should be able to take over control if you’re injured. This person should have knowledge of operating the vessel, as well as the ability to undertake safety maneuvers if necessary. Make sure this person is apprised of your safety plan and other emergency procedures.

Use a life jacket

No matter your experience or swimming ability, you should always have a life jacket available on your boat. The same goes for anyone else that’s coming along, as a dearth of life jackets is often a factor in boating fatalities. Also, make sure that each life jacket properly fits the person it’s intended for.

Don’t drink and boat

Not only is drinking and boating illegal, it’s also dangerous. It’s difficult to operate a boat while intoxicated, as judgment and motor skills will be impaired. Additionally, the effects of alcohol may become even more pronounced after spending long hours in the sun.