Planning for a day out on the lake can takes some serious planning. The most skilled packer may have lists of items to buy before hand, items to bring in the car for the ride to the lake and also a list of items to go on the boat. Hopefully we remember the important stuff: snacks and drinks, the water skis and fishing poles however, along with list of items, there also should be a short list of boating safety items. These items which could be a huge help in the event of an emergency. While we hope will never need to use safety items, having the right tools when you need them can make all the difference. In fact, missing one important safety tool can destroy your fun day. Better yet, having the right safety equipment for boats with you can save a life. Use the list below to be certain you have what you need in case of an emergency.
Boat Safety Items:
First Aid Kit
Whistle or Air Horn
Screw Driver, Pliers
Prop Nut Wrench
While researching boating safety items, I came across Federal Requirements for recreational boats published by the US Coast Guard. These regulations go into great detail as to the type of equipment necessary in its 82 page document called A Boaters Guide to Federal Requirements for Recreational Boats. Page 42 of that document lists the requirements based on the size of your boat. For our purposes, we are discussing boats up to 26 feet in length. Their list starts with reminding boaters that they need the required state numbering and licensing then the remaining 8 items are about safety. Similar to the list above, boating safety items required are life jackets, electric distress signals, flares, fire extinguisher, gas tank ventilation,horn or whistle, navigation lights and backfire flame arrestor for non-outboard motors. We recommend all boaters review this document in its entirety as it address safety in operating your boat as well.
Before your next outing on the lake, take a few extra minutes to be sure you have the proper boating safety equipment. Do it now. A few safety precautions can mean the difference between fun and disaster.