The weather is getting warmer outside, and more individuals are enjoying the water. No matter how you are enjoying the water, there are critical safety rules should be followed to safeguard your lives and those of your loved ones. Here are five tips that should be always kept in mind while enjoying your local body of water:
1. Dress for the water temperature, not the air temperature.
People tend to ignore how cold the water can be when they are exposed to sunshine and warm air. If the temperature of water you are in is colder than your body temperature you can potentially expose yourself to hypothermia. When immersed in water you are robbed of your body heat 30 times faster when dry. Your body cannot keep up with this rapid heat loss.
If immersed in water, an individual’s core temperature begins to drop within 15 minutes, even during a seemingly hot sunny day.
2. Wear a life jacket.
The importance of always having a life jacket on is also amplified in cold water because the heat loss will rapidly impair your ability to use your fingers. If you don’t believe it, try soaking your hand in a cup of ice water for two minutes and then tying your shoes. Please be safe when out on the water and wear a life jacket or flotation device at all times.
3. Don’t drink and boat.
Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal. Furthermore, alcohol expands blood vessels and accelerates heat loss, thus greatly increasing the risk of hypothermia as well if you fall in the water.
4. Always be prepared for the environment you are in.
Life-threatening weather can develop quickly. Pay attention to marine weather forecasts and warnings on the days of your activities. You should learn the indicators of developing weather and immediately seek safe harbor whenever weather warnings are issued. For boaters, a radio will also help you call for help more reliably than a cell phone when you’re on the water. Tell others where you are going and when you will return, to add an additional level of safety to your outing.
If you are planning on entertaining guests or just a normal day out on the water with your family also be cautious of boarding and exiting your vessel in a proper manner. If you plan on enjoying the beach from your boat, a GR8-White Accordion Gangplank is the perfect way to safely enter and exit your vessel.
Preserving life on the water takes effort and every person can be a potential lifesaver. If you see someone heading out without taking the safety precautions addressed above, you can notify them of the importance of safety to advert a potential tragedy.