The summer boating season has arrived, and that means it’s time to head out of cities like St. George, Utah toward the sunny waters of your choice. Time out on the waves should be relaxing, but it’s easy to worry if you are doing enough to protect yourself and others from boating injuries,. Save yourself the stress by following these boat safety rules and procedures.
Take a Boat Safety Course
A boat safety course will prepare you for adverse conditions you may encounter while out on the water. Some states require you to present proof of completing a boat safety course before you can operate a vessel. If you are a resident of St. George, or any other city in the state of Utah, state law requires you to carry a boat safety course completion card if you were born after January 1, 1988 and will be operating a vessel over 10HP. Even if a boat safety course isn’t required in your state, completing a course can save you money on insurance and help protect you from wrongful death suits. Contact a Robert J Debry lawyer to learn more about how to protect yourself in this situation.
Get a Vessel Safety Check
The U.S. Coast Guard offers free safety checks for all boat owners. When you request a check, a qualified examiner will come to the location of your choice, from your driveway in St. George to the harbor. Inspections take no more than 30 minutes. The examiner will determine if your boat is in compliance with state and federal boating laws and will give you a written report with instructions on how to fix any problems.
Make a Float Plan and Share It
A float plan is a written document with all the important information about your boating trip. It should include names and contact information for all passengers, the type of boat you will be taking out, the current boat registration information, what types of communication equipment you’ll have on board and your itinerary. Give a copy of your float plan to the harbormaster and a family member or friend in case of emergency, and keep one handy for your lawyer.
Things to Have on Board
Every ship should be equipped with basic safety items. These items include life jackets for all passengers, a first aid kit, a fire extinguisher, a radio, a toolbox and signaling devices like flares or a horn. You should also keep important boat documents like your registration on board. The presence and proper use of safety items protects your passengers from injury and wrongful death.