One of the best ways to include your family on your next boat outing is to include swimming, diving, or snorkeling. In order to insure a safe boating trip here are some safety tips for swimming or snorkeling from around your boat. These tips along with some common boating sense will keep you enjoying your boating lifestyle throughout the boating season.
Consider these safety tips while your family or friends are swimming around your boat:
- Insure you have a plan for getting on and off of your boat – Boat Swim Platforms are the best boating accessory for the safest boarding and off-boarding of your boat. With the variety of available boat swim platforms there is no need to worry about getting on or off the boat.
- Skid proof your swim platforms – While boat swim platforms are the best choice for getting on and off of the boat you might want to add some non-skid tape to your swim platforms. This will insure a better footing when boarding your vessel.
- Avoid swimming in marinas. – Busy marinas are for boats not swimmers. Oil, gasoline, and electricity often leak into marinas and pose dangerous health hazards.
- Current – Stay away from strong currents or undertow. If you are sport diving and cannot totally avoid currents, insure you swim up-current and drift back with the current. This is another time when swim platforms will be helpful to get your swimmers back on-board.
- Never leave your engine running while swimmers are in the water. Propellers can quickly become deadly. In addition to the obvious propeller risks carbon monoxide fumes can accumulate near the boat and under boat swim platforms. You can avoid the CO fumes by simply turning off your engine.
- Use caution when first entering the water. Never dive into the water. Water depth can look deceiving. Enter the water cautiously and note any rocks, uneven areas, humps or shallow spots. Don’t forget current and wind can change the bottom contours from day to day. Always be careful when first entering the water.
- Flotation Device. When swimming always wear a PFD or have flotation devices in the water for easy access. You can also tie up a raft to your swim platforms for added security and fun.
- When swimming, diving or snorkeling have your Dive Flag flying as per your local regulations.
- Be observant. Pay attention to what is going on in and around your boat. Designate 1 person to watch your swimmers and insure everyone is safe and accounted for.
By using some common sense, having proper safety equipment such as boat swim platforms, first aid kits and personal flotation devices you can enjoy a day of swimming, snorkeling or diving. It is a great way to spend time with family and friends.
Safe Boating is a priority at Boat Outfitters!
For more information about boating safety please visit the Boating Safety Resource Center of the U.S. Coast Guard