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Boating and Water Craft Lake Safety " Stay With the Boat"

Jun 29, 2008
It's a standard and well known fact on dry land that in the event of trouble on the lake or on the water the basic water safety boating rule is "Stay with the Boat". Never have truer and more accurate words been pronounced when it comes to boating safety - whether it be for recreational boaters, water skiers in the summer time or for anglers and fisherman.

If the boat "swamps" stay with the boat. Do not leave the water craft or try to swim ashore. No matter what you think wave action over a submerged boat is visible a long distance and will definitely attract attention - even if you think that the immediate area is empty and appears empty and devoid of anyone else. Your chances of being found and rescued are much greater if you stay with the boat than leave it. On top of that what may appear to be a shoreline close by and not far away is deceptive. That swim is much much grater in distance than it appears to be.

If the water is cold, lash yourself to the boat as much as possible. Indeed when it comes to fisherman and fishing as well as angling much of the fishing season centers both early and late in the seasons. By tying yourself to some fixture on the boat itself, you will gain additional chances to survive the event and ordeal if you become extremely weak or even unconscious. Next try to keep on as much clothing as possible - even through it seems bulky and heavy, dragging you down. Even soaking wet, clothing provides some warmth rather than only drawing your body heat out with cold soaking fabrics.

Except in extremely large lakes or the ocean, surf on shore is seldom dangerous. Even if waves are big enough to swamp a small boat, the water at the point where they are breaking is usually shallow enough to permit you touch bottom and scurry ashore. In the case of Ocean surf itself, or Great Lakes surf in heavy weather will normally break in 10 to 15 feet of water. In these cases swamping perhaps means swimming perhaps a distance of 100 feet or more.

Unless you are a very good and excellent swimmer experienced in the surf, no matter what you think or have been told, it is a sad truth and fact that your chances for survival itself are slim without a life saving jacket - or what is commonly referred to as a "lifejacket" or "life vest". Wearing one you will remain afloat. Even if you are unconscious, the waves will quickly drive you up the beach as they would a piece of driftwood. Without a life preserver, you will be smashed and submerged by wave turbulence. You will be quickly exhausted - that is if you survive the ordeal of the boat swamping. Make it a point and policy always to wear that live preserver and as well hang on to anything under these circumstances. This can be an oar, a seat, a gas can or anything else.

Its all about safety on the water - whether it be boating for commercial employment such as fishing, pleasure boating, water skiing or a day of actively trying to catch a stringer of those walleye or bass. End the day safely. If there are number of simple rules there are first to wear a life vest., hang on to the swamped boat and lastly do not try to swim ashore no matter how short the distance looks to that shoreline or even to what seems to be a nearby island in the lake.
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