BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Source: Drowning Prevention Coalition of Palm Beach County Verbatim) — The Drowning Prevention Coalition (DPC) of Palm Beach County encourages all recreational boaters to follow safe boating and water smart practices this holiday weekend. Please don’t become a statistic. Use the following water safety recommendations while recreational boating.
1. Wear a life jacket. Make sure everyone is wearing a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket.
2. Never boat under the influence. BUI is a factor in one-third of all recreational boating fatalities.
- Check equipment. Make sure you have and know how to use all essential equipment.
- File a float plan. Let family and friends know where you’re going and when you will return.
- Use an engine cutoff device. An engine cutoff device is a proven safety device to stop the boat’s engine should the operator unexpectedly fall overboard.
- Watch the weather. Always check the forecast before departing and frequently during your excursion.
- Know what’s going on around you at all times. A quarter of all reported boating accidents in 2019 were caused by operator inattention or improper lookout.
- Know where you’re going and travel at safe speeds. Familiarize yourself with local boating speed zones, and maintain a safe speed.
- Keep in touch. Cell phones, satellite phones, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB) or personal locator beacon, and VHF radios can all be important devices in an emergency.
- Social distancing. Stay six feet apart, wash your hands frequently, and wear a mask until you’re out on the water away from others.
Providing supervision, never swimming alone, always wearing a life jacket are primary factors in preventing boating related injuries. Enjoy the holiday, but remember to pay attention to drowning prevention.
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