Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels (such as rowing and paddle boats), focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or waterskiing. It is a popular activity, and there are millions of boaters worldwide. Boating safety and avoiding Boating accidents is paramount.
Summer time is fun time - especially if you are an avid boater. Boats of all kinds and sizes descend onto the waterways all over the country this time of year. No matter what the reason (fishing, skiing, tubing or just relaxing), there are rules on the water just like there are rules for cars on the roads. Boating safety is a number one prior for everyone out there.
Most states require people that operate a motorized boat on the waterways to take boating education courses (for instance, in Alabama boaters 12 and older must attend) and you can attend these online. Many boating safety courses are offered throughout the country, for all types of recreational boaters, and for boaters of all ages. Qualified volunteer organizations, such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadron, and others sponsor many courses, and many state boating agencies also provide classes. Or for a complete list of states and courses, go to https://www.boat-ed.com/.
Are you planning on partying on the boat this weekend? Another instance wherein you need to "think before you drink". Operating a boat while intoxicated is a federal offense, subject to a $1,000 fine. In addition, criminal penalties are as high as $5,000, and may even include jail time. State Boating Under the Influence (BUI) Laws are becoming more stringent too. In most states, the standards for determining whether an individual is intoxicated matches its state highway laws for operating a vehicle. Please consider:
o In most states it is illegal to operate a boat with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater.
o Some states will suspend your boating license or privilege.
o In some states your driving record could be affected.
Life jackets (personal floatation devices - PFD) are for everyone. This is the single most important piece of equipment to have on your boat - one for everyone aboard. There are several types of jackets on the market and they are designed for different boating activities and/or water conditions. They must be U.S. Coast guard-approved in order to meet carriage requirements. Children (usually under age 13) are required to wear one at all times while in the boat.
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