Hot summer days are meant to be spent in the water. Long weekends at the lake with friends, family and food are what get you through those dreary, gray winter days. During those days of boredom from being stuck indoors you may be dreaming of the freedom that comes with cruising out on the water. Whether it’s a sea-doo, skis, or just riding the waves on a boat, there are many ways to relax and have fun on the water. There is nothing more euphoric than feeling powerful cruising the lake under the beating sun. However, with the freeing power of being in the water comes the great responsibility that is your and your families’ safety. There are many dangers that come from that water-bred fun in the sun. While we may all want to relax and de-stress, when we are finally able to break free from the office or classroom, it is important to remember the rules of the river. Take note of these helpful tricks and tips that ensure you will be safe while you’re having fun.
According to Sea-Doo’s website, it is important to keep all of the following safety tips in your watercraft or your boat at all times. It is equally important to ensure that not only yourself but also everyone aboard understands all of the safety tips and guidelines prior to leaving your starting location, and to again observes the safety procedures once they are out on the water.
Some of these tips may seem obvious, like the tip about knowing and understanding all operational features of your craft. It is important to take time and read over what may seem like trivial directions, but if taking a few brief moments to read them over could deter you or others from danger then why not spend the time?
While you’re reading those guidelines go ahead and check your craft to make sure all of your equipment and operatives are functioning properly. At this time you should also securely attach the engine cutoff lanyard to your wrist or your Personal Flotation Device (PFD.) Remember to keep this attached at all times.
The clothing you wear is also extremely critical. Sure, it may not be the most fashionable material but it is the most safe, and that is what is important when you are on the water. Watercraft riders should wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFD. For other passengers on the watercraft an alternative to wearing a PFD is a wet suit bottom or thick, tightly woven, fitted clothing that provides just as much protection. The clothing you wear is essential to your safety. There is a possibility of severe internal injury if water is forced into body cavities as a result of falling into water. Sea-Doo also recommends footwear, gloves and goggles/glasses when going into the water on a watercraft in case of sharp objects on the floor of the river, lake, or ocean.
Don’t overload your craft. Know your vessel’s capacity, and abide by that. The last thing you need is for your speedboat to capsize. Though, that would be an interesting story to share with the office on Monday.
Stay alert when operating any watercraft, and make sure your passengers are your extra sets of eyes and ears. You can never be too cautious when it comes to venturing out on the water. Frequently check your surroundings for posted signs with guidelines such as “IDLE” or “NO WAKE.”
Be mindful of your speed. When it comes to water, slow and steady does win the race- the safety race, that is. Always make sure that you and your passengers are comfortable with the speed in which you are going and the area you are headed. Pace yourself, and be aware of your fellow wake board, Sea-Doo, and boating companions. Everyone is out on the water trying to have fun, and it is up to you to make sure you have that fun in the safest way possible.
Written by Carey Wooldrige, owner of Yacht Club Powersports. Based out of the Lake of the Ozarks, Yacht Club Powersports is one of the leading SeaDoo dealers Missouri has to offer! They also carry a great selection of Can Am ATV’s and Motorcycles!