Boat US Foundation Lifejacket Loaner Program available in all 50 states provides
FREE and easy access to appropriate & properly sized Lifejackets:
Alphabetical Listing or
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!
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.
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.
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.
or portable waterproof
VHF radio attached to vessel operators Lifejacket is a wise investment & best practice.
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.
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.
& 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.
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).
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
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.
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.