We usually write about hunting and shooting but with the upcoming weekend sure to see a large number of boaters on the water for the first time this year, we felt it important to discuss BOATING SAFETY…
The last thing anyone wants to read about is a loved one not coming home from a weekend at the lake due to a boating incident. We have already had two fatalities on Nebraska waters this year and that is TOO MANY.
Most boating accidents occur for the same basic reasons:
1. Alcohol – never drink and drive! If you are caught, it will go on your record just like a ticket on the highway. Nobody wants that!
2. Careless boating – boats do not operate like cars and drivers need to exercise caution when operating a motor boat. They require more area for turning and constant vigilance as to your surroundings. Also keep in mind there are other users on the water. Give other users adequate space.
3. Life Jackets – they float…you don’t! Wear them and mandate anyone on your boat wears them as well. My best tip here is to invest in the inflatable jackets. They are easy to wear, use, etc. and they look good too! Keep in mind all children under age 13 must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket.
4. Boat familiarity – all users need to become familiar with their boat prior to using. Don’t give a novice the steering wheel! Practice with your boat on turning, avoiding obstacles, etc.
5. Boater Safety Course – although required for all motor boat operators ages 14-17, it would be a good idea for all boat operators to take this course. In fact, many private lakes will not allow boats on their water unless the operator has successfully completed Boater Safety.
Have fun on the water this weekend and BE SAFE!
Get Em Out There