Hopefully the warmer weather in eastern North Carolina is here to stay! Along with the wonderful spring season comes plans for outings on the water! But, before you head out in Washington, NC or wherever you like to venture, make sure you keep these safety tips for boating in mind.
Have Proper Safety Gear
A big part of boating safely is being prepared in any situation, even an emergency. The first step in preparing for an emergency is having certain supplies onboard. Here are a few basic items that all boaters should have:
Life Jackets – You should have a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket for every person on board.
Flashlight – A flashlight and extra batteries can help you see around your boat in the dark and allow you to be seen if you run out of fuel or if your boat stalls.
Duct Tape – It’s true… it’s one of the most useful things you can have. Even a minor leak can be repaired with duct tape.
First Aid Kit – A properly equipped first aid kit, plus the knowledge on how to use it, is vital in case of an accident or medical emergency.
Whistle – As a recognized signal calling for help on the water, a waterproof whistle is another must-have item.
Ropes – Having a sturdy rope is critical. If you ever need to be towed or lash something, having a rope can be a lifesaver.
Fire Extinguisher – Just because you’re on the water doesn’t mean you a safe from a fire onboard. All passengers should know the location of your fire extinguisher and how to use it.
Check the Weather
One of the best things about being on the water is beautiful weather. However, we all know that weather in eastern North Carolina can be unpredictable. Warm temperatures can create afternoon thunderstorms. It is always a good idea to check the weather before you head out on the water for the day.
Have a Radio
Being on the water without a radio is a big mistake. All too often folks assume their cell phones will always work. However, out on the water, there are often places where cell phone service will be weak or non-existent. A good marine radio allows you direct access to the United States Coast Guard and other services, including the weather. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a radio. A good handheld marine radio is all you need to stay safe.
Alcohol and Boating Doesn’t Mix
Nothing can ruin a fun day on the water like making the poor decision of driving a boat under the influence. Not only is it dangerous, but it is also illegal. If you are going to have alcohol on your boat, make sure to have a designated driver. In North Carolina, it is common for the Coast Guard and the Marine Fisheries officers to be on the water looking for boaters who are operating vessels under the influence. Stay safe so you can have many happy hours on the water.
We wish everyone a fun and safe boating season! If you have any questions about our Washington, NC marina and amenities, contact Havens Wharf today!