Capsizings and falls overboard are the leading cause of fatal boating incidents. To help lessen the chance of capsizing or falling overboard, follow these basic safety tips:
- Always wear your life jacket.
- Stay low in the boat and maintain 3 points of contact. Keep 2 feet and 1 hand, or 2 hands and 1 foot in contact with the boat at all times. If seated, you have one point of contact on the seat, and still need to maintain 2 others – such as 1 foot, 1 hand, 2 feet, etc.
- When loading supplies into a boat, have one person get into the boat and then hand that person the supplies.
- If retrieving an item from the water, maneuver the boat close to the object and use a boathook or paddle. If you do need to reach outside the hull of the boat, keep 3—points of contact.
- Keep an even, balanced load.
- Do not attach the anchor line to the stern of the boat.
- When pulling up the anchor, stay low in the boat and well balanced.
- If in rough waters, head the bow of the boat anywhere from directly into the seas up to a 45 degree angle depending on sea state and vessel construction.
- Follow the information stated on the “Capacity Plate.” Never exceed the allowable weight, horsepower rating, or maximum number of people.