Thursday, 19 July 2018 08:00

Summer Safety Boating Tips Featured

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Boating on a warm summer day? Can life get much better? If you have a boat, you’re probably getting psyched to take it on a bunch of adventures this summer. Key West is a boater’s paradise, and if you’re in the area, you’ll be one of hundreds of people sailing around the island.

Key West Harbour offers boat rental and docking services. Whether you have your own boat, or plan to rent one, we suggest a trip around the Keys! With all the people boating in the summer, it’s essential that your practice boat safety to keep you, your loved ones, marine life, and your boat safe.

Our team at Key West Harbour wanted to share with you some summer safety boating tips so you can (safety enjoy) your trip on the water.

  • Don’t drink alcohol when operating the boat. It can be a federal crime and is illegal.
  • Follow the boating rules of the area and laws of the state.
  • Do weekly maintenance checks on your boat to ensure everything is working properly.
  • Wear a life jacket.
  • Before heading out on the water, check that you have a full tank of gas.
  • Make sure your operator’s license/certificate is on board.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher, flashlights, batteries, life jackets, water, flares, maps, a cell phone, and a first aid kit are on the boat.
  • Pay attention to the weather. Get off the water quickly if the wind shifts, if the sky gets dark, or if there’s lightening.
  • Bring a radio onboard.
  • Don’t let the passengers board or exit while the engine is on or idling.
  • Shut off your engine when approach anyone in the water.
  • Keep a safe distance from other boats and people in the water.
  • Follow a pre-departure checklist so you won’t forget anything.
  • Operate the boat at a safe speed always.
  • Follow/respect the buoys and navigational signs in the water.
  • Make sure the people on your boat know basic boat safety, and where things are located on the boat.
  • Make sure at least one other person on the boat can operate the boat and get you back safety in case of emergency.
  • Develop a float plan (this includes where you’re going and for how long). You can give this to a staff member at your marina or a friend.
  • Learn to swim if you don’t, since you’re going to be surrounded by water.
  • Take a boating course.

Boating accidents in Monroe County, which includes most of the Keys, leads the state in boating accidents each year. You don’t want to be one of these accidents! By following the above tips, you can spare yourself a bad situation.

If you’re down in the Keys and looking for a place to dock or rent a boat, Florida Marina Club’s Key West Harbour has rental services and dry and wet storage. To contact our Key West marina, call 305-292-3121.  

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