TORRANCE, Calif. — Post Insurance Services Inc., an insurance company specializing in marine policies, recommends these tips to its boating customers for a safe experience.
1. Check the weather. Assess weather conditions before heading out but if you notice an abrupt change in the weather, play it safe and get off the water.
2. Designate a skipper. There should always be at least one other person that can operate the boat or is familiar with handling the boat should the captain be injured or incapacitated in any way.
3. Develop a float plan. Inform someone, a family member or staff at your marina, where you are going and how long you plan to be out. Also, alert marina staff to the type of communication equipment you have onboard.
4. Use proper lifejackets. A lifejacket can save someone’s life if they are suddenly thrown overboard. Every passenger onboard should have a lifejacket that fits properly.
5. Go through a pre-departure checklist. Every captain should have a pre-departure checklist they go through. This will ensure that you don’t miss any steps before you depart. This can include checking supplies, vessel safety checks and making sure you have everything you need before you get out on the water.
As the captain of the boat, avoid alcohol while operating any watercraft. Just as an operator would not drink and drive a car, one should never consume alcohol while operating or before operating a piece of watercraft. Also, determine the swimming ability of the passengers aboard before you depart. If anyone goes overboard, it’s important to be aware of whether or not they know how to swim; and have a way to rescue them immediately.