July 13, 2016
Boating is a popular choice of summer activity for groups across the country. Whether your group uses canoes on a winding river, rafts on a whitewater rapid, kayaks on a lake, or motorboats in the open ocean, these precautions will help keep your group safe on the water:
Plan your group’s itinerary, specifying where your boats and other vehicles should be and when.
Recruit experienced drivers
Recruit only experienced drivers, and place at least one adult spotter in each boat (in addition to the driver). Advise your drivers to avoid high speeds and sharp turns. Take particular care to prevent these common causes of accidents:
Be observant; watch out for other boats
Watch for other boats, especially slow- and fast-moving boats. Fishing vessels in open water and boats of swimmers and sunbathers anchored at sandbars both tend to be stationary or slow moving. In contrast, individual watercraft—as well as motorboats pulling tubers and skiers—tend to move quickly and turn suddenly. Keep an eye out for both situations.
If your group is taking motorboats, consider bringing paddles, a tow strap, and/or a cell phone in case one of the boats suffers a motor failure. Whether your group plans for a day of tubing or a lazy afternoon canoeing downriver, perform your due diligence to promote safety while your group is on the water.