(NewsUSA) - Summer weather is finally here, and with it comes more time spent on the water. For boaters in particular, warmer temperatures and sunny skies mean more opportunities to bring family and friends along for the ride.
Before inviting loved ones onto your boat, however, it's important to review some safety procedures to help ensure a relaxing experience for everyone.
Check out the tips below to ensure safe and enjoyable boating all summer long:
1) Watch the weather - Summer weather can turn nasty in an instant, and a boat can be a dangerous place to get caught in a storm. Before hitting the water, check the weather forecast and make note of any chance of precipitation or storms. If you see lightning while you're out on the water and cannot get to shore, crouch down in the middle of the boat or go below deck, if possible.
2) Boat maintenance - A well-maintained engine is key to enjoying your time on the water. So be sure to check your oil levels before heading out on the water, or invest in an engine that doesn't require oil changes, such as the E-TEC G2 by Evinrude. With an E-TEC, there's no need to remove any engine components to check oil levels before every use as with other engines, so you can get out on the water faster.
3) Life jacket required - Although warmer weather may make swimming irresistible, safety stillcomes first. It's important to always wear a life jacket while in the water, and to have access to one while in the boat. According to a 2014 study by the United States Coast Guard, 84 percent of victims who drowned during a boating accident were not wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident. While they may seem like a hassle, life jackets really do save lives.
4) Don't drink and boat - An ice-cold beverage and boating can go hand-in-hand. However, just as with driving a car, it is illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated across the United States and Canada. In fact, being intoxicated on the water can be even more dangerous than being intoxicated on land. Unsteady footing, sun, wind, and even engine noise accelerates a drinker's impairment.
Keeping in mind a few simple safety tips can make all the difference for boat owners everywhere. So, before your next outing, make sure you, your boat and your passengers are all ready to go - and enjoy the ride!