Boat Safety

Survive gives you a brief overview of the basics of boat safety. One must realize that being on the water creates a different scenario for safety. Preparation is important in any outdoor activity however when on the water one cannot walk or drive to your nearest store. All the more reason to have boat prepped and ready.

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Many states differ on legalities for boat safety. Most will agree on life jackets and a fire extinguisher if your boat is being run by a motor. Here is a list Survive Outdoors advises which will change with some states. ALWAYS check with your local DNR for specific legalities of boat requirements. Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan on arriving home. This is imperative !!

  1. A wearable flotation device for each passenger that actually fits and zips or buckles up securely.
  2. A throwable cushion that can be adhered by a rope. Some states want the rope attached at all times others do not require that.
  3. A fire extinguisher for all boats run by a motor- electric or gas.
  4. Proper lights on bow and stern.
  5. A horn and/or whistle. Again, look at your local laws.
  6. A medical kit on board with the basics. Please see Survive Outdoors recommendations on medical kits and how to supply.
  7. Check the weather.
  8. Be careful not to overload the boat with too many people or too much weight. A frequent downfall of duck hunters is they bring too many decoys. When boats capsize that have decoys, one must be careful as they can tangle your legs and could accelerate a drowning. It’s important to have a knife clipped on the outside of waders or pants.
  9. Pre-check your boat for leaks and check all rivets or seams.
  10. Check motor before going out and always have extra paddles or oars.