Boating Safely in the Water
November 7, 2011
Boating safely in the water All favorite outdoor activities should be done safely? One all-time favorite activity enjoyed by many is boating on the water. Whether it is a twelve foot raft, or a forty foot yacht, there are many important items to consider before leaving the dock. For example, is there a personal flotation device for each passenger, to include the operator? What about alcoholic beverages?
Did anyone bring any along or had anything to drink earlier; hope not, it is “illegal to drink alcoholic beverages and operate a boat in all fifty States” (Carro, 2010). What about fire extinguishers? Are they on board? Are they full? Are they mounted in an accessible …show more content…
There are four different classes of fire extinguishers, class A for paper, wood, cardboard and plastics, class B, gasoline, diesel fuel, and oils, class C, electrical fires, class D, chemical fires, and class K, cooking oils, and trans fats. There is a multi-class extinguisher available for boats as well as home.
Fire extinguishers are also configured differently if there is an inboard engine, there should be a fixed type extinguisher permanently mounted inside the engine compartment with re-fillable cylinders. A US Coast Guard spokesperson Jack O'Dell remarks "It always surprises us how many pleasure boats are not equipped with the most basic extinguishers and if there is one aboard, it's often hopelessly outdated" (Reininger, 2001).
Another safety issue that impacts boating safely is improper weight distribution and overloading of passengers which can affect boating in a dangerous way. All boats come from the manufacturer with data plates that specify how many passengers can be onboard at the same time, for instance, 12 passengers or fifteen hundred pounds maximum. Overloading can cause the boat to take on water, usually at the stern; it can cause improper steering, tipping too much to one side or the other, and possible capsizing by taking on water from a large wave.
The right boat hull configuration affects overloading, and weight distribution as well; Typically there is the flat bottom boat designed mostly for calm waters, lakes, and streams,