12 Boating Safety Tips for the Holiday Weekend and Beyond

During the Fourth of July weekend the waters are going to be more crowded than ever.

So, vigilance and preparation will be key.

Here are 12 boating safety tips from the Water Sport Foundation. There are lessons and reminders here for everyone, including the old salts.

Number 1 – Education & Essential Equipment

Before launching your boat, be sure you are confident and comfortable at the helm, following successful completion of a boating safety education course. If you haven’t already done so, enroll in a boating class taught by qualified and certified boating safety instructors, preferably with curriculum that meets approved American National Standard for on-water skills training.

There are many live, virtual and hybrid boating safety education classes available through the U.S. Coast Guard auxiliary, Power Squadron/America’s Boating Club and any number of private boating education providers. For a list of educational resources, check out the National Boating Safety Media Resource Center: Boating Safety Education – Water Sports Foundation.

Besides safe boating operation, make sure you are familiar with the operating instructions of your vessel. Check your equipment prior to departure to ensure all are in proper working condition. Make sure you are competent to operate a VHF radio, and if possible, an EPIRB or personal locator beacon.