No matter how experienced you are, it is good practice to go over safe boating tips. Find below 9 basic boating safety tips to help you stay safe during your trip:
1. Check the weather
Before setting sail, make sure you check the weather forecast. If you notice heavy weather changes during your trip, play it safe by getting off the water. Weather ground is a very reliable weather forecast website for Chalkidiki.
2. Make a pre – Departure checklist
It is essential that you properly equip your boat prior to going on the water and that you ensure that the craft is suitable for its intended use. Having a pre-departure checklist is the best way to make sure no boating precautions have been forgotten.
The boating safety checklist should include:
- Weather forecast (it’s the first we check)
- Sound producing devices (whistle)
- Lights and shapes
- Tools and spares
- Fuel & Oil
- Fire extinguisher
- Docking and anchoring tips
3. Always use common sense
Using common sense is crucial for your boating safety. Be aware of your surroundings, always operate at a safe speed, especially in crowded areas, and of course steer clear your vessel. Don’t forget to pay attention at the monitor gauges at the helm (voltage, temperature, fuel), as they have been placed there to help you promote safe operation and identify any issues as soon as possible.
4. Design a float plan
Start your trip by designing a float plan and give it to a family member or a friend. Always be sure to let someone else know your float plan, so in case you are overdue, this person will contact with the Port Police.
Your float plan should include the following information:
- name and phone number of trip leader, and at least one of the other passengers
- boat type and registration information
- the itinerary you will follow
- and the types of communication in case of an emergency, such as an EPIRB
When you rent a boat from Dream Swim you don’t have to worry about this, as our boats are equipped with satellite monitoring systems (GPS trackers) so that in the unlikely event of an emergency we can immediately reach you with our rescue boat.
5. Set an assistant skipper
In case of an injury of the primary navigator, you should have someone else on board, who can follow the proper boating safety rules in order to get everyone else back to shore.
When renting a boat, before your departure, you will have a detailed safety briefing, so make sure that more than one person on board attends it and is familiar with all aspects of your boat’s handling, operations, and general boating safety.
6. Have life jackets
Wearing a lifejacket is the most important thing, in order to ensure your safety on the water. Make sure that your family and friends are wearing life jackets that fit correctly. We, at Dream Swim, provide life jackets for all the members of the crew and especially for our little friends!
No matter how great of a swimmer you are, you should still wear a life jacket!
7. Avoid consuming alcohol
The primary and backup operator (you should have one) should keep away from consuming any alcoholic beverages prior to or during the trip. Levels of blood alcohol or medications that would have little impact on land can potentially have a much greater effect when you are sailing on a boat.
Motion, vibration, engine noise, sun and wind dramatically affect a boat operator’s senses. So never boat under the influence!
8. Attend a boating course or safety briefing
In Greece, no license is required for boats carrying a 30hp engine, while driving a boat with over a 30hp engine, one should hold a valid boat license.
We, at Dream Swim, believe that both beginners and experienced boaters, need to be familiar with the boating safety rules of operation. For this reason, we provide a detailed safety briefing, which is preferred to be attended both by the primary and backup operator.
9. Learn to swim
This tip is the most essential and the most obvious. You are about to have a trip to the sea and what is better than knowing how to swim! It is both good for your safety in case you have to jump into the water and to enjoy your trip while having fun with your loved ones in the sea.