When the weather is nice, or time is running short, we often take shortcuts to get onto the water as soon as we can. Most times, things work out just fine and we're soon back at the dock or the launch ramp at the end of the day. But sometimes things go wrong--from an engine running out of gas to conking out--to the tragic deaths of loved ones. (To learn about the unfortunate sinking of the Morning Dew, visit the BoatU.S. damage avoidance magazine (Seaworthy) You may also download the full NTSB Report on the Morning Dew.
Having a safe and enjoyable boating trip begins well before you step aboard the boat. No matter what the weather is before you start your trip, and no matter what your boating experience is--any trip can go differently than you first plan. The following excerpts are taken from Water Wise--Safety for the Recreational Boater, printed by the University of Alaska Sea Grant and available through BoatU.S.
For many people, their only boating experiences come from being a guest on boats such as yours. As a "boating ambassador" the more you can do to put them at ease, the better. Show them around the boat, show them how to use equipment, and what they can expect when they go out on the water. Share your knowledge with them--you will help them be safer on the water, and you will help them enjoy the water that much more.