3. Take advantage of the U.S. Coast Guard's free vehicle safety check. Available to all recreational boaters, this safety check helps to identify problems before they happen.
4. Avoid speeding and reckless boating.
5. Take a boat safety certification course. Not only are these courses required for some segment of the population in 46 of the 50 states, but they provide a helpful reminder of boating etiquette, weather warnings, and general safety measures. The U.S. Coast Guard found that 70 percent of all boating fatalities last year occurred on boats where the operator had not received boating safety instruction.
6. Obey all posted navigation signs and warnings.
7. Check the weather forecast before you leave the shore and keep your radio tuned to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio once out on the water.
8. Tell someone where you're going and what time you expect to return. If you're not back on time, it is that person's responsibility to notify the authorities.
9. Before leaving shore, make sure you have operational running lights if there's even the slightest chance you'll be out after dusk.
10. If you have an internal combustion engine, install a carbon monoxide monitor. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that is odorless, colorless and poisonous.
11. If you're trailering your boat, ensure that your trailer is in working order and your boat is secure before setting out.
12. Make sure you have enough fuel and oil for the entire trip.
13. Always carry a U.S. Coast Guard approved working fire extinguisher and keep it easily accessible.
14. Don't boat alone, if possible. Have a passenger act as a look-out to keep watch for swimmers, other boats and watercraft, rocks, shallow bottoms or other dangers.
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|SOURCE HUB International New England|
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