Are you operating your yacht safely? That’s the question to keep in mind this week as it is National Safe Boating Week, May 21 – 27.
With most yachts under 75 feet operated by the owner of the yacht or his family, safety should always be a concern. If you’re like most yacht owners, you take great care in the maintenance and operation of your vessel. That means that you are already aware that safety issues play a large role in yacht ownership.
Here are some interesting – and sobering – facts gathered by the National Safe Boating Council.
In 80% of boating accidents, the cause of death is drowning.
In 90% of those drownings, the person was not wearing a life vest.
That means that 72 out of every 100 boating fatalities occurred simply because the person was not wearing a life vest.
- Operator Inattention
- Operator Experience
- Excessive Speed
These factors generally result in two types of accidents – which can be fatal:
- Collision With A Vessel
- Collision With A Fixed Object
Obviously, just wearing a life vest is not going to help in all of these situations! What are some other simple safety precautions you can take on your yacht?
- Knowing the ‘rules of the road’
- Fully understanding your yacht and its capabilities
- Understanding boating laws and regulations
- Attending a safe boating course
- Being aware of your surroundings & watching the weather
- Having enough life vests, jackets or preservers for every passenger
- Carrying a flair
- Carrying a marine radio
- Learning to swim
What if you have a larger yacht and it is operated by a crew? Some of the same tips apply of course, but there are some others to keep in mind:
- Does your crew have the appropriate certifications and licensing that you as the owner require?
- Has your crew participated in training for a variety of emergency situations?
- Do they understand chain of command?
- Are they versed in proper procedures for accident and incident reporting?
- Does the crew have basic First Aid training?
Here are some further links to information regarding yachting safety:
Are there other tips and suggestions you have for making your yachting experience more safe? Please share them in the comments section!