Learn to swim. Sooner or later, you’re going in, and you don’t want to have to rely
on a life preserver or a passenger.
Don’t drink while boating. It leaves you tipsy, both mentally and physically. More
than half of the people who drown in boating accidents had been drinking. As far as drinking goes, boats are just cars on the water.
Wear an approved life jacket, and make sure your passengers do, too.
Before you launch, tell someone where you’re headed and when you’ll be back at the dock. In an emergency, rescuers will need to know where to start looking.
Keep learning about boats and the water. Groups including the U.S. Power
Squadron and the Coast Guard Auxiliary teach classes in navigation, weather and emergency procedures.
Check the forecast and watch the weather while you’re underway. If you see or hear a storm, get back to land.