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Stay safe when boating with these tips

Boating can be safe at any time of the year if you make sure to look ahead and plan for the worst. When you're boating, it's important to know about potential unsafe weather conditions on the water and to travel with another person. If you plan to head out for long, have a good safety plan in place, and let the marina know where you're headed.

Each of these tips can help you avoid a tragedy and injury on the water. With the ocean nearby, these tips are vital to staying safe and enjoying water-based activities.

Know the weather conditions

Before you head out, make sure to identify the weather conditions at the moment and for later in the day. If there is bad weather predicted but it is nice out now, plan to return to the dock before the weather hits. Prepare an emergency kit to carry with you and keep a weather radio handy.

Travel with a buddy

What would happen if you were alone on a boat and lost consciousness? What would you do if you couldn't drive or had an emergency? To avoid issues where you're alone and in trouble, always travel with a partner. He or she can help take over if you're unable to complete tasks on board.

Have a plan and share it

If you plan to go out for the day, you need to let someone know. Have a plan that includes your phone number, name and address. Include your trip's itinerary and when you plan to return. Add emergency numbers and your boat's registration number. If you don't return on time, the marina staff can use this to help emergency workers locate you.

If you're hurt as a result of a boater who didn't take precautions, you could be entitled to compensation. Our website has more on what you should do if you've been hurt.

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