The summertime is prime boating season here in South Florida, so it’s never a bad idea to bone up on boating and water safety tips for South Florida recreation. Many of our members are keen on getting out on the water as often as possible, whether for fishing, diving, snorkeling, water sports, or just to enjoy the gorgeous, sparkling, warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Safety first

But safety should always come first. There is nothing that will taint a summer outing on the water faster than a preventable injury, accident or—worst-case scenario—drowning. Even experienced boaters have fallen victim to largely preventable mishaps, so even if you feel great confidence in your skills, it’s always best to err on the side of safety. You’ll be doing yourself a favor and protecting your friends and loved ones from harm.

To help you get the most out of your summer boating adventures, we’ve put together our top tips on how to stay safe on the water.

Stay sober

Drinking alcohol while boating can, at the very least, get you arrested for DUI. At worst, it could seriously impact your ability to respond in case of an emergency. Save the drinking for dry land.

Wear life jackets

Every boat should have enough life jackets for everybody on board. They should all be safety-approved and be the proper size for the person wearing it. Be sure to check for fit before heading out.

Tell a friend where you are going

If you are staying at a hotel, let the front desk know where you are going. Conversely, tell a friend or colleague what you are up to and where you are headed and when you expect to be back. On the off chance if you don’t arrive back on schedule, knowing your plans will help to spur fast action to locate you and bring you in safely.

Check the weather

South Florida weather can change in a heartbeat. It might look clear and perfect when you set out, but things can get ugly very quickly, leaving you no time to take cover. Make sure you check a reliable weather service to be sure there is no chance you will get caught in a storm.

Keep children within arm’s reach

Accidental drowning can happen in seconds. Always keep children within arm’s reach so you can be there to help “just in case”. Even if they are strong swimmers, make sure they are equipped with proper floatation devices such as life jackets. Floaties and pool toys don’t really cut it in open water.

Hire a boat captain

One of the greatest advantages to living in Florida is that we’ve got so many resources to help us get the most out of the water. A boat captain can take you to places you wouldn’t find on your own. They know the area—including the dangerous parts—and will take care of the business of navigation while you are your friends and family relax and enjoy to the fullest.

Boating in South Florida is a great way to spend a day on the water, but safety always comes first. Be sure you are following proper water safety procedures so you will come back with only good memories. Do you have any great water safety tips? We’d love to hear about them! Drop us a line at Lakeside Executive Suites today and share your thoughts.