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Boating Safety for Family Vacations

Dec 12, 2007
Many vacations are based around water-related activities such as boating. While these activities can be a lot of fun, they are also the cause of the majority of vacation accidents. To truly enjoy your boating vacation without mishap, it is important to keep a few safety tips in mind.

Children are particularly vulnerable to boating accidents, so you really need to lay out some ground rules and stick to them while on the boat. For example, small children should be kept inside or, if on the deck, a parent should be holding onto them.

All children, regardless of age, should wear a life preserver at all times. Water wings do not count; you want a proper vest-like preserver that will support the head above water. These come in a variety of fun colors and designs now, so it shouldn't be a struggle to find one that your kids like.

Even if your child is a good swimmer, conditions are very different from your local pool. Riptides, currents and waves can all throw even a decent swimmer off and the danger of a head injury increases the possibility of drowning. Make sure your kids are protected.

There are some rules that everyone should follow, like always having one hand on the boat to support yourself. That means if you are walking from bow to stern, you should always have at least one hand touching part of the boat, steadying yourself. This is in case of a sudden movement that could send you overboard, which is all too common on the unsteady water.

The pilot of the boat should know what he is doing, especially when it comes to turning around and returning to the same spot. If someone or something falls overboard, it is vital that the pilot be able to return to pick them up.

Another thing to keep in mind when boating is the condition of safety gear on board. Even if you are planning to stay near shore, check that there are enough life jackets for everyone, a first aid kit that is fully stocked flares and if necessary, an inflatable raft. There should also be a boat hook for pulling things in toward the boat, as well as a life preserver ring to toss to someone struggling in the water.

When planning a boating trip, make sure to check the weather forecast. Many boating vacationers have been accidentally stranded at sea when a storm came up and caused heavy damages to their boat. This is easily avoidable by checking the weather ahead of time and watching the sky while you are out on the water.

Also, familiarize yourself with the boat radio and emergency reports. You should know how to correctly call for help and relay your position should anything happen. It is a good idea for everyone on board to learn the correct procedure for this.

A boating vacation can be a thrilling adventure if you know what you are doing. But it is vital that you take the precautions necessary to have a safe boating adventure as well.
About the Author
Plans To Build Your Own Bankers Dory Boat. Do-It-Yourself Plans To Build A Wooden 16 Grand Banks Dory - http://www.ArticlesGlobe.com/Resources/BuildDoryBoat
Joseph Jordan
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