Summer is drawing to a close, but that will certainly not stop the state’s boaters from hitting the water a few more times. Autumn is much less popular than summer for boating, but many enthusiasts will continue to hit the lakes, rivers and ocean.
Whether you are enjoying your last few trips of the season or you plan to boat well into the winter, you should brush up on a few safety tips. In this post, we have compiled some autumn-specific measures that you can use to protect yourself and your passengers.
How to boat safely this fall
Even the most experienced of boaters can benefit from brushing up on their boat safety. This fall, follow these precautions to reduce accidents and injuries:
- Be aware of early sunsets
The days are much shorter in the autumn and fall. Once the sun goes down, so does visibility. Before you launch, check the time of the sunset so that you can prepare to navigate in the dark.
- Take your lights for a tune-up
Still, it is easy to for darkness to creep up on you. Make sure that your boat’s navigation lights work. You should also stock up on waterproof flashlights and plenty of extra batteries.
- Stock up on life jackets
In autumn, water temperatures drop perilously. It is far too easy for someone to become hypothermic if they fall overboard. Every passenger on your boat should have a life jacket. No ifs, ands or buts.
- Verify that your VHF works
With fewer boaters on the water, it is harder to flag someone down for help. A very high frequency (VHF) radio can save your life if you don’t have a cell phone signal. Confirm that your VHF radio works and tune it to the channel for your location.
Just one of these simple measures could save your life.
What to do in a boating accident
Even with these precautions, boating accidents can still occur. If you experience an accident, do your best to remain calm. Call for help and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Document the accident scene by taking photographs. You should also get the name and contact information of the other boater and any witnesses.