Education and vessel maintenance are two things that you can do now as a responsible boat owner. Both are key to boating safety.
1- Take a Boating Safety Course
From navigation to the “rules of the road,” or boat handling to weather, educated boaters are safe boaters. Approximately 80% of all boating fatalities occurred on boats where the operator had never taken a boating safety course.
A wide variety of basic boating courses are available. Leading volunteer organizations such as the United States Power Squadrons® and the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary, as well as your own state boating agency, provide nationally recognized classes.
Are you too busy to attend a traditional classroom course? You can now study at your own pace with courses that are available online or in an interactive format. Many courses take less than eight hours to complete.
The United States Power Squadrons® recommend that all boat owners, operators and passengers take a boating safety course. You never know when it may be your responsibility to be in command of a situation on the water.
2- Get AVessel Safety Check
The Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is a free stem-to-stern inspection of your boat by a qualified member of the United States Power Squadrons® or United States Coast Guard-Auxiliary.
It’s your best way to learn about potential problems that might put you in violation of state or federal laws, or worse, create possible danger for you or your passengers on the water.
The United States Power Squadrons® recommend that you maintain your boat year-round, and get a free Vessel Safety Check every year. The VSC typically takes only 20 minutes. Although the following list is not complete, it may give you an idea of the items that will be checked at your next VSC.
Display of Numbers
Mounting of Fire Extinguisher
Sound Producing Devices
Visual Distress Signals
Fire Extinguisher in Good Operation
Marine VHF Radio
First Aid Kit
Boating Safety Classes
Anchor and Line
Overall Vessel Condition
To learn confident and safe boating, contact the Marco Island Sail and Power Squadron at 239- 393-0150, or visit www.MarcoIslandSailandPowerSquadron.org, your local unit of the United States Power Squadrons®, or the national website at www.USPS.org.
Its members always send the invitation: Come for the boating education…Stay for the friends.