Thursday, May 22, 2014

Be Safe Out on the Water this Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day Weekend marks the start of Boating Season and Summerset Boat Lifts is here to help you with all your boat lift needs!  Everyone is excited to get out on the water and celebrate, but remember to take safety precautions. Operator inexperience, inattention, recklessness and speeding are the four leading causes of tragic watercraft crashes and drowning is the leading cause of death.  Crash statistics show that those who wear life jackets and take boater safety courses are more likely to stay safe on the water!  We wanted to provide you with the some basic boating safety tips to help keep you safe this holiday weekend. 

1. Leave the Alcohol Onshore

Never use drugs or alcohol before or during boat operation.  Alcohol's effects are greatly exaggerated by exposure to sun, glare, wind, noise and vibration.  Yes, Memorial Day Weekend is a time for celebration, but save the alcohol for when you get back and crank up the BBQ Grill.  If you must bring it on board with you, be sure to have a designated captain.    

2. Be Weather Wise

Although we are all hoping for some great weather this Memorial Day Weekend, it never fails that we get some rain when we are trying to have some fun outdoors.  Be sure to check the weather before you head out and keep an eye on the weather while you are out on the water.  It would also be a good idea to bring a radio on board with you.  Sudden wind shifts, lightning flashes and choppy water all can mean a storm in brewing.  If bad weather is approaching, get off the water as quickly as possible to keep safe.  You don't want to be out in the middle of the Lake when a storm hits.

3. Use and Maintain the Right Safety Equipment

Have a US Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board and one approved throwable device.  It is suggested that everyone where their life jackets while on the water.  Be sure to have a fire extinguiser on board and make sure all the boat lights are operating correctly. Even if you are going out in daylight, you never know what could happen and you could be stuck on the water after dark.  You also should keep an emergency supplies kit in a floating pouch on board.  This should include a cell phone, maps, flares and a first aid kit.  

4. Follow a Checklist Before Heading Out

Start by letting someone know where you are going and when you will be returning. Open all the hatches and run the blower before you take off and after you refuel. Sniff for fumes before starting the engine and if you smell some, do not start the engine. Check for any local regulations that you will need to follow.  

5. Don't Overload the Boat 

Overloading a boat with gear or passengers will make the boat unstable and increase the risk of capsizing or swamping.  Abide by the boats capacity plate which is located near the boat operators position.  

6. Follow the Rules 

Never allow passengers to ride on gunwales, seat backs or outside of the protective railings, including the front of a pontoon boat.  A sudden turn, stop, start or wave could cause them to fall overboard.  After leaving the boat launch or boat lift at the Lake of the Ozarks maintain slow, no-wake speed for a safe and legal distance from the launch.  Be sure to follow all boat traffic rules as well.  Just like on the road, abiding by traffic rules will help keep your group safe out on the water.  

While you're out on the water this weekend, make sure that not only is your boat working properly, but also that your Lake of the Ozarks boat lift is also in proper working condition.  If you have a problem with your lift, give us a call!  You'll be surprised at how soon you may see a representative of Summerset Boat Lifts on your dock.  We want to earn your trust and your business!

Tips adapted from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Website

1165 Jeffries Road Osage Beach, MO  65065

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