Summer is finally here, and we all know what that means – it’s time for some epic water activities.
The sun’s shining, and the water’s calling, making it the perfect time to get out there and have a blast.
But wait, before we dive in, let’s have a quick reality check. Water activities come with potential risks, especially when alcohol, cannabis, or drugs get involved.
Well, that’s why we’re here. We got your back to make sure this summer’s all about fun and safety! We got a few handy safety tips for you all. Let’s make waves the right way!
1. Safety First: The ABCs of Boating ✅
Before you embark on any boating escapade, familiarize yourself with the ABCs of boating safety:
- Always Wear Your Life Jacket: Life jackets are non-negotiable when it comes to boating safety. Always wear a properly fitting life jacket while on board, and make sure everyone else on your boat does the same.
- Be Prepared: Check the weather forecast before setting sail. Sudden storms can brew, and knowing what lies ahead will help you plan your trip safely. Remember to carry marine safety equipment (this is required by law) and some necessary items such as First Aid kits, drinking water, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, dry clothing, snacks, etc.
- Communicate Your Plans: Inform a friend or family member about your boating plans, including your route and expected return time. This way, someone will know when and where to look for you if needed.
2. Don’t drink and drive, on land or/and water ⚠
We have probably mentioned it so many times, but we will keep emphasizing it: Don’t drink and drive, it’s just as crucial on the water.
Mixing alcohol and drugs with boating can be way riskier than you might think. The sun, wind, and boat’s motion can make you feel tired and less alert. When you add alcohol or drugs to the mix, it gets even worse. Your ability to do things like coordinate your movements (like hand-eye coordination) and make good decisions goes downhill.
Whether you’re cruising on a boat or hitting the road in your car, the consequences are the same if you drink and drive in Ontario. Remember, it’s not just your own safety on the line; you’re responsible for others too.
What does impaired driving apply to? The rule covers motorized watercraft like jet skis and non-motorized vessels like canoes, kayaks, and inflatable rafts. Click the button below for more information.
3. Buddy System 🤜🤛
Just like you have a support system in college, boating requires a buddy system too. Always boat with at least one other person, so you can look out for each other and lend a helping hand if necessary. If someone is feeling seasick or unwell, having a buddy on board can make all the difference.
4. Educate yourself: Take a Boating Safety course 📚
Knowledge is power, and in the boating world, it’s a lifesaver. Consider taking a boating safety course to familiarize yourself with navigation rules, handling emergencies, and understanding waterway markers. The insights gained from such a course will boost your confidence and competence on the water.
Also, it’s essential to know the laws that apply to boating and follow them carefully. You can find a safe boating guide as well as more information by clicking the button below.
Happy sailing and stay safe everyone! ✨