View from the boat of a young man skillfully water skiing

Float Your Boat Right

Before every float, make sure you know what it takes to stay safe in your boat. A pre-departure checklist ensures you have what you need out on the water –

  • Load up with life jackets. They save lives. Have at least one life jacket available on board for each person. Attach a whistle to each life jacket so you can signal for help if needed. An additional throwable device is required if the vessel is more than 16 feet long.
  • Take the toolbox. A set of basic tools can come in handy when you’re away from shore.
  • Stock up your first-aid kit. Be prepared for unplanned bumps, cuts and bruises.
  • Find the fire extinguishers. Always carry at least one on board and make sure it’s accessible.
  • Don’t forget distress signals. Store flares and day signals in a dry location and show your passengers how to use them to let rescuers know where you are.
  • Watch the weather. Keep your eyes on the radar and your ears on a radio to be aware of changing conditions.

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