Boating trips are generally associated with fishing, parties, exploration, and adventures, but that’s only when everything goes according to plan. Sometimes, things do not go according to plan and at others, the plan itself was faulty to begin with. As none of that is ever desirable, let’s take a look at what we can do to prevent boating accidents.
Monitor the Weather in Real Time
Anyone even remotely familiar with boating will know to check the weather before planning even a short trip. However, unless you are planning to take the kayak to a backwater lake nearby, you must also monitor the weather in real time, all the time. This is essential not just for boat rides on the sea, but pretty much any boat ride that involves an open, large body of water (rivers, large lakes). Failing to do so can have devastating consequences.
Don’t Drink and Drive
Just because you are on the water, the rules about driving do not change. Somehow, people often forget that fact when they are on water. As a result, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other psychoactive substances is the leading cause of boating accidents. Unfortunately, when such a boating accident does occur, several people get hurt without any fault of their own.
If you and/or people close to you have been hurt in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligence, know that you could be entitled to an adequate compensation. Even if the negligence led to property damage, the same rules of compensation apply there as well. For more information about boating accident compensations, visit https://www.rblaw.net/practices-boating-accidents.
Provision the Boat Properly
No universal guidance can be provided in this respect, without knowing exactly where you are going, how long the trip will last, what kind of weather conditions you might be facing, the kind of boat you will be driving, etc. Nevertheless, there are some ground rules that can be adjusted and applied to suit your own upcoming trip.
- Pack significantly more food and fresh water than you should need.
- Carry more fuel than you should need to comfortably complete the entire trip.
- Pack enough first-aid and emergency medical supplies.
- There should be enough flashlights, emergency flares, fire extinguishers, a manual foghorn, a few adequately sized oars, and extra batteries.
Take Note of the Boat’s Maximum Weight Allowance
Unless you wish to risk capsizing the boat, always ensure that the total weight carried on your boat is well below its maximum payload capacity. If the total weight onboard is coming very close to the boat’s maximum payload capacity during the planning stage, it is better to replan the venture than to go on water with more weight than you should. If you are faced with a decision to choose between a passenger and provisions while planning the trip, always choose the provisions. Harsh as it may seem, that decision will likely save everyone a lot of unnecessary woe.
Finally, do not venture into restricted, uncharted, or dangerous territories. Crossing international borders, entering buccaneer territory, stumbling into rough seas, and driving right into a rock are just some of the dangerously easy mistakes that one can make on the ocean, so pay attention to where you are going. Invest in a reliable satellite navigation (GPS) system and learn how to navigate using the manual compass + map system for emergency navigation.