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Boating Safety - Doing Your Part (DYP)

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Wear Your Lifejacket, We Do! Wear IT Maryland - Link to NSBC

Boat US Foundation Lifejacket Loaner Program available in all 50 states provides
FREE and easy access to appropriate & properly sized Lifejackets:
Location Finder:  Alphabetical Listing or Chart/Map

Although "Safety" is an attitude rather than a set of rules,
most boating fatalities, serious injuries or major losses can be prevented
by following simple Guidelines, Practices & Tips!

  1. Never Drink & Boat  -  Drinking alcohol impairs judgment, slows reaction times, reduces physical agility & diminish coordination which do not go well with unpredictable & hostile environment that often exists on large bodies of water.
  2. Wear a Lifejacket  -  It could make the difference between life & death.  Lifejackets could have saved 85% of victims who drowned in boating accident.  States require children to wear a lifejacket when underway & not inside a closed cabin.  For children less than 4 years old, Maryland requires additional safety features.
  3. Properly Equip Lifejackets  -  Under conditions of darkness, poor visibility, rough seas or stormy weather; a whistle, signal mirror, flashlight, strobe light, flares, knife or dye marker attached to a Lifejacket could make the difference between life & death.  An EPIRB or portable waterproof VHF radio attached to vessel operators Lifejacket is a wise investment & best practice.
  4. Invest in a VHF Radio  -  Keep it near helm & set to Channel 16 so important information being broadcasted can be monitored & it is ready to use in an emergency.   Make sure everyone knows when & how to use the radio since it can make the difference between a minor & major loss (injuries) or even life & death in an emergency.
  5. Be Weather Wise  -  Check weather before heading out & then remain alert to changes in sky, wind & water conditions throughout day.  Use your VHF Radio to regularly check latest weather forecasts (especially after 12:00 PM during summer months).  Immediately head to shore at first signs of deteriorating weather conditions.
  6. Properly Equip & Maintain Vessel  -  to reduce probability of problems occurring & be prepared to deal with them when they do occur.  Examine your own vessel or get a Free Vessel Safety Check at beginning of each boating season to ensure critical equipment & systems are in good working order & then use a checklist (see item 8.) before each outing to verify their ongoing operational status.
  7. File a Float Plan  -  Let family or friends know where you’re going, how you plan to get there, how many people will be onboard, when you expect to return, how to contact you & what your vessel looks like (type, size, color, description, name & hailing port).
  8. Use a Safety Checklist  -  As operator of a watercraft, you are responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the vessel as well as everyone onboard, so be prepared to deal with the unexpected by properly equipping & maintaining your vessel, using a pre-underway checklist before each outing, regularly reviewing these guidelines & established good practices & tips with family members, friends & guests.
  9. Take a Boating Course  -  Be sure to check state & local requirements.   USCG recommends everyone take a basic boating safety course & boat owners/operators attend a safety refresher or more advanced course at least once every three years to help maintain & improve your boating knowledge / skills.  So why not team-up with family, friends, neighbors or colleagues to attend a class.

Saved by the Lifejacket - Link to
NSBC - National Safe Boating Council
Boat Smart, Wear It - Safe Boating Principles
Thomas Point Light House - MD Boating Requirements

USCG Boating Safety

Some Additional Boating Safety Resources

  1. Recalls & Safety Defects
  2. PWC Boating Safety & Tips - MD
  3. Boat Arkansas PWC Module
  4. For Young & Young at Heart Boaters
  5. Paddlecraft & Small Boats
  6. Boating Safety & Survival Tips for Hunters
  7. BoatUS Foundation Online Boating Course

Wear IT Maryland - Link to NSBC

Lifejackets Float, You Don't - Wear It, We Do!

Boating Safety - Doing Your Part

Good Boating Practices & Tips

Flotilla 23-1 & CG Auxiliary

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Walt Discenza, Flotilla 23-1
5th District Southern Region

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