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Boating Safety Checklist

Even the most experienced boaters can be caught off guard when an unexpected squall pops up or an unforeseen equipment failure takes place – when you are out on the water, you never know what may happen. It is always a good time to remind ourselves of boating safety tips to go over before heading out.  Here are a few safety precautions to follow and few safety technologies to consider before your next boating excursion:
1) Check Your Basics and Download the US Coast Guard Mobile App
First, go over your basics (weather check, fuel, floatation devices, food, water, sunscreen, etc.).  From the Coast Guard app, you can receive the latest safety regulations, checklist for your boat’s safety equipment and from here you can File a Float Plan.
2) File a Float Plan
Before you go out on the boat, use the USCG app to file your float plan.  What this means is, you tell them where you are going, when you are going and what time you expect to return. The app will also ask you how much food/water you have, how many people you have on board, how many life jackets you have, etc. You can email your float plan to up to three people.
3) Consider Purchasing an Emergency Beacon – EPIRB
If an emergency does happen while you are out on the water, having an EPIRB (emergency position-indicating radio beacon) will signal authorities your exact location.
4) Use Satellite Technology
The Spot or InReach are satellite communicators that enable you to send and receive text messages when you are outside of cell phone range. Devices are available for as little as $119, plus monthly service plan.  Sending your mom/dad/kids/family/friends an “All good!” text while you are offshore fishing?  Priceless.
Happy and SAFE boating!