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If you are getting ready to take the boat out for the summer, it is time to do a pre-launch safety check on your watercraft. This article takes a look at some smart safety tips every boater should know.

Smart Boating Safety Tips for the Whole Family

There is nothing quite as relaxing as being out on the water. Whether you are heading into the open ocean for some challenging deep-sea fishing or staying within sight of land, boating can be a wonderful and deeply satisfying experience.

No matter what kind of boat you own or how often you use it, boating safety is something you should take very seriously. In a matter of minutes the tranquility of the water can disappear, leaving a roiling storm and choppy seas in its place. Knowing what to do when the weather turns bad is the best way to keep your fellow boating enthusiasts safe and sound. Here are some smart boating tips for the whole family.

Invest in swimming lessons for family members who will be using your boat. No one expects the boat to go down or start taking on water, but being a strong swimmer could save your loved one’s life in an emergency.

Make sure you have plenty of life vests and floatation devices on your boat, and that everyone knows where they are stored and how to use them. Take a few minutes for a safety drill before heading out and make sure everyone knows how to activate their life vests, lifeboats and other essential safety equipment.

Have your boat inspected on a regular basis. Even if the state where you live does not require a safety inspection, it is important to schedule your own. A regular inspection could uncover safety problems you may have missed otherwise.

Leave the alcohol on the shore. Drinking and boating do not mix, and operating a watercraft while under the influence is against the law. Feel free to enjoy your favorite adult beverages from the safety of dry land, but leave the wine, beer and cocktails behind before heading out on the water.

Use a weather radio to monitor current conditions and keep up to date with storm warnings. Storms are nothing to fool around with on the water, so be aware of changing conditions and how they will impact your planned trajectory.

Keep a fire extinguisher on board and make sure it is properly charged.

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