The 4th of July is finally here, and it is time to head out on your boat to enjoy the holiday with your family and friends. There is no better place to view fireworks than from the deck of your yacht, out on the water – it is simply magical! Hundreds of boaters share this enthusiasm, making the 4th of July one of the busiest boating days of the year. With so many boaters on the water at the same time, the incidence of boating accidents rises steeply. Keep your family and guests safe this Independence Day by following these simple 4th of July boating safety tips:
Inspect Your Vessel
Take the time to make sure all your running and anchor lights are working properly, that fire extinguishers are full, and safety devices are in place. Make sure your boat has all the legally required and recommended equipment onboard and in working order, and top off your fuel.
Wear a Life Jacket
It can be quite tempting to abandon life jackets on a hot summer night, but resist the urge! Accidents happen swiftly, leaving you no time to scramble into your life jacket. Keep your jacket on the entire time you are aboard – this goes double for any little ones on your vessel.
Alcohol and boating can be a deadly combination – last year alcohol was a factor in 17 percent of fatal boating accidents nationwide. Hot weather, sun, wind, and the rocking motion of the waves cause people drinking on a vessel to reach a level of intoxication much quicker than they would on land, impairing operators’ judgment and decision-making skills and reducing passengers’ balance and ability to react quickly in emergencies.
Set Boating Rules at the Start
Holidays are a fun time, and passengers out for a good time can easily put themselves in harm’s way. Before taking off, familiarize your guests in basic boating rules, and make sure they know what to do in case of emergency. If you are running a speedboat, confirm that all passengers are seated before taking off.
File a Trip Plan
Tell someone on shore where you are headed, who you are taking, and the approximate time you plan to return. Instruct your friend in what to do if you do not check in with them in a reasonable amount of time.
While you may be paying attention, not all of your fellow boaters can say the same. Keep an eye out for inexperienced operators and those who may have over-indulged.
Get to your anchorage early, both to get the best spot and to ensure you are not left scrambling in a crowded area when other owners are not paying attention.
Take your time weighing anchor. In the mad scramble to leave immediately after the pyrotechnics, the likelihood of being involved in a collision increases. Relax, enjoy the evening, and wait for the rush to subside before setting out. With a reasonable amount of caution, you should have an amazing Fourth of July on the water!
Atlantic Yacht and Ship wishes everyone a wonderful 4th of July. For over 53 years, we have been serving the yachting community as an integral leader in the yacht and ship brokerage industry. If you are interested in yachts for sale, or thinking about selling your yacht, come visit Atlantic Yacht & Ship’s experienced brokers at our headquarter sales office dockside at Harbour Towne Marina in the heart of the yachting capital of the world, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Contact Atlantic Yacht & Ship at 954.921.1500 today to find the vessel of your dreams.