Whether you like to boat locally in George Bush Park pond or you take your boat out to surrounding areas like Galveston Bay, it is always important to keep abreast of boat safety especially if you are planning to have passengers. With Father’s Day coming this weekend, you may have a trip planned for your family. Before you pack up the cooler and jump aboard, make sure you refresh yourself and your loved ones on the rules of the sea:
• If any of your passengers are children or are not strong swimmers, insist they wear a life jacket at all times on board. There are too many opportunities for passengers to fall over board. You do not want them to find themselves in precarious positions they can not get out of without a life vest on. Have vests available for every passenger on board as well in case of emergency.
• Get yourself a medical kit or look through the one you already have to be sure it is fully stocked and the contents are still useable. Some kits come with expiration dates because the contents can lose their effectiveness over time. Bandages can lose their sterility and pain meds can expire. Be sure your kit will be helpful in an emergency situation.
• Have maps of the waterways you are planning to navigate. GPS and depth finders are wonderful tools, but if their power source fails, you might find yourself wondering where you are and how you will get back to shore. Good ol’ laminated maps can be a lifesaver.
• Bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Be sure you and your passengers are well protected from the heat and sun. Staying hydrated and wearing sunscreen are two great ways to do just that.
Stay safe out on the waterways!