Boating safety starts with wearing a life jacket or “floatation device”. 85% of people who drown in boating accidents were not wearing floatation devices.
Wearing a Life Jacket is the simplest and most basic article every boat must have and that everyone needs to use, especially when children are aboard. Life jackets must be US Coast Guard approved, and sized correctly to fit for the person wearing it.
Most children’s life jackets are sized based on the weight of the child, and should have a zipper in front and “snap closures” for the straps around the abdomen and crotch. Another feature on some children’s life jackets is a “grab strap”, essentially a handle that makes it easier to pull a child out of the water if they fall overboard.
If anyone, especially a child, is thrown overboard, the first reaction is often to immediately jump in the water to try to save them; but anyone struggling in the water may pull anyone else down with them when they are struggling to save themselves. So the first rule when someone goes overboard may be the hardest to obey: Stay aboard the Boat!
The best option is to attempt a rescue from the boat, which means having a throwable floatation cushion as well as safety buoys and a floating rope. Anyone struggling in the water will struggle and panic and can pull anyone attempting to save them down with them.
Good captains train their crews for any possibility. Have a set of boating rule posted where all can read, and instructing everyone on safety procedures, especially what to do if an accident happens.
Good Captains also know that a well maintained boat is a safe boat. CMC Canvas LLC provides protective coverings and accessories that enhance and protect you boat.