Western Hemlocks in the fog.

Boat Safety

How much do you know about safe boating?

Before heading out on your boat trip, there are important things you should consider:

  • What items are important for you to bring with you?
  • What items should be checked before departing?
  • What will the weather be like for the area you will be boating in?
  • How are your vessel’s bilge pumps?

Please avoid drinking and/or becoming impaired while out on the water. Circumstances can change quickly and the best way to stay alive is to have all your faculties working quickly and clearly.  

Safety Equipment That Should be on Board Your Vessel

  • Life jackets. You must have one (1) life jacket for every person on your boat.  
  • life ring is required if your boat is longer than 16 feet. 
  • An airhorn that can be heard at least half a mile away can be a life saver. 
  • Fire extinguishers are critical to have onboard as not all fires can be put out with water. 
  • An emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) and a  personal locator beacon (PLB) are automatic emergency locator requirements that should be registered to your vessel.   
  • Flares for night time signaling. 
  • Smoke Signals used during daytime signaling. 
  • Mirrors can be used as reflectors to gain the attention of other boaters in your area. 
  • Whistles are another tool for gaining the attention of nearby boaters through noise.
  • Flashlight 
  • Batteries
  • First Aid Kit
  • VHF Radio  

Other items that help you prepare for emergencies are  water, basic toolbox, ensuring your fuel, oil, and coolant levels are adequate, charts or maps for the area you will be navigating in – and it cannot be stressed enough: please leave a float plan at the Harbormaster’s office.