Boating tips to keep you safe this summer. Part 2 of 2.
With nearly 50,000 registered boats in Lee County, SW Florida is known as, “A Boater’s Dream.” Everyday, residents and visitors alike, enjoy many water activities from fishing, paddle-boarding, and sailing, to boating to world-renowned beaches.
We are passionate about this area, and want all SW Florida residents to practice safe boating. Therefore, to promote a safe and enjoyable experience on the water, we are publishing safety tips from The National Safe Boating Council, as part of their National Safe Boating Week campaign, beginning in May, and continuing through the summer. Part 2 of 2.
9. Always follow navigation rules.
Florida waterways are known for “skinny water,” or shallow areas that put boaters at risk. Be vigilant, travel at safe speeds, and choose not to boat after dark. In addition, practice a 360-degree awareness, looking out for boats behind you.
10. Slow down.
This is especially important in no wake or manatee zones. These are often areas with high congestion and other obstacles, such as mangroves or sandbars.
11. Designate a sober boat operator.
Alcohol was listed as the leading factor in 19% of the fatalities in 2018. Appoint an alternate passenger who can drive the boat in case the operator becomes incapacitated, for any reason. There are classes available for those who may find themselves, “Suddenly in Command.”
12. Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Larger boats with cabins, and house boats can be susceptible to carbon-monoxide poisoning. To prevent any mishaps, install and maintain a working CO detector, never block exhaust outlets, and dock, beach or anchor at least 20 feet away from the nearest boat with a running engine or generator.
13. Keep in touch.
Be sure to have at least two devices that work when wet, such as satellite phones, emergency position indicating radio beacons (EPIRB), VHF radios and personal locator beacons (PLB). This will make it easier for search and rescue marine units to find you if thrown overboard. Cell phones may not be reliable in emergencies.
14. Pay attention.
Keeping a proper lookout is key to a safe day on the water. Inattention of the boat operator continues to be the leading cause of boating accidents, according to a 2018 FWC report.
15. Enable an engine cut-out switch.
This device, tethered to a kill switch, will automatically cut the engine if the boat operator gets thrown overboard.
16. Wear quality polarized sunglasses.
This make it easier to see sandbars which are prevalent in SW Florida waterways.
Jason Richardson, Owner of Richardson Homes, is an avid boater and angler, who has been on the water his whole life. Born and raised in Fort Myers, he has been working in the building industry for 30+ years, creating dream homes for hundreds of clients from Port Charlotte to Marco Island.
He and his family enjoy the many outdoor activities this area has to offer! Contact Jason to discuss new home construction or remodeling, 239-694-8889. We look forward to partnering with many of you as you make your way to SW Florida to build your dream home.