Safety First for Every Lake Norman Boater
The average temperature has begun to climb toward the 80-degree mark and the weather conditions will be ideal for getting your boat back on the water again. Before you, your family and friends head out for some fun in the sun on Lake Norman, it’s vital to refresh yourself with some safe boating rules. Taking the time to understand maritime safety can prevent injury, damaged equipment or even help save someone’s life.
“Warmer weather in April signals that boat owners are going to be getting out on the water much more often,” says Lowry Hobbs of Westport Marina. “Familiarizing yourself with safe boating practices is critical for making every boating experience a pleasure.”
Safe Boating Guidelines
- Be Weather-Wise – Before you leave your home to head for the water, be sure to check your local weather station for any dangerous weather predictions. In the event you notice dark clouds, choppy water, or any drops in the temperature, we advise you stay off the lake.
- Follow Pre-Departure Checklist – In the event of an emergency, sometimes you have no time to seek assistance. Have a list of items that you can confirm are stored on deck in case they are needed before departing. With these materials onboard, you are prepared for any possibility while on the water.
- Make Proper Use of Lifejackets – Make sure your family and friends that ride in your boat are assigned a life jacket as they board.
- Avoid Alcohol – Same as with a car, alcohol impairs judgment. Operating a boat under the influence is not an option for boat operators. The probability of being involved in an accident doubles when alcohol is in the picture.
- Dress for the Water Temperature – Regardless of the air temperature, the water may still be very cold. Explore the option of wet suits. They offer insulation in the event you fall off of the boat, or it capsizes.
- Designate an Assistant Skipper – Have another person who is familiar with boating safety tips, as well as all aspects of your boat. In the event something happens to the boat’s operator, they can step in, easily take control of the vessel, and get everyone back to shore safely.
- Learn To Swim – If you’re going to be around water, you should be familiar with how to swim. Proper boating safety includes the ability to swim.
“Most dangerous boating situations can be completely avoided by taking the time to educate yourself and those around you on safe boating practices,” explains Hobbs. “That way, you can spend your time getting out on the water for a safe and fun escape from your hectic day-to-day schedule!”
To learn more about safe boating rules, or if you have any other questions, contact the Lake Norman Coast Guard Auxiliary, or the Lake Norman Power Squadron. We look forward to helping you have a safer, more enjoyable boating experience on gorgeous Lake Norman. And if you need to rent a boat here on Lake Norman, call us at 704-483-7152 or email us for boat rental rates and reservations.