Which Safety Precaution Should be Taken First in Stormy Weather?
It goes without saying that boating in stormy weather can be a frightening experience for boaters who are just starting out. That’s why it’s so important that you get this question right when taking a Boat Ed exam and quizlet. Here’s the short answer, followed by some more details on how you can boat safely.
Which safety precaution should be taken first by a boat operator when boating in stormy weather? The boat operator should first make sure that all passengers on board the boat are wearing US Coast Guard approved life jackets or PFDs (personal flotation devices) when boating in stormy weather.
That’s the short answer.
It’s your responsibility as the boat captain or operator to make sure all people on the boat have the correct PFDs on which not only fit but have been approved by the US Coast Guard. This is even more important during bad weather conditions.
But there are some exceptions to this rule.
For example, with children younger than 13 years old, they should always be wearing a US Coast Guard approved PFD at all times as soon as the boat is in motion.
For more clarity on the law around how old kids are allowed to go on boats, and what measures need to be taken, please read the following guides:
However, there is a still a caveat with children younger than 13 when on a boat. If they are below deck or in an enclosed cabin, they don’t have to be wearing a PFD when the boat is underway – unless it’s very stormy weather of course.
But, here’s the thing.
As a pontoon boat owner, I would never, ever not have my kids wearing life jackets or PFDs when our boat is moving. It doesn’t matter if we’re anchored down in a calm spot or not. They have to wear adequate protection at all times.
It’s a good rule to have yourself.
In fact, my wife and I actually put together a list of rules for safety which we made our own kids learn back to front and off by heart. You can read those kid safety rules here, and there will be some aspects in there you might not have considered before.
But what are the best types of PFDs for kids?
It will be one that fits, it fit for purpose, and is US Coast Guard approved. You can see a checklist of what to look for in the graphic I made below.
You might also have heard about kids wearing something called a puddle jumper. You can buy ones that are US Coast Guard approved, and I’ve compiled a little guide you can read through here: what to look for in a puddle jumper to make sure it’s safe and approved.
Tips for boating in stormy weather
Back to the initial question though on which safety precaution should be taken first by a boat operator when boating in stormy weather.
Stormy weather can be really frightening, even for the most experienced of boaters. You only have to read reports of how duck boats have been involved in accidents and the fatalities involved due to a lack of life jacket to see that.
Here are my top tips for boating in stormy weather once you’ve made sure that everyone has their PFDs on.
- Check the weather reports before you set off on a boat trip.
- Make sure you have enough fuel to cover all eventualities in stormy weather.
- Don’t start to panic as this can lead to poor decision making.
- Always wear a PFD or life jacket as soon as the weather starts to turn.
- Slow down and pay careful attention to how the waves are behaving.
- Secure down any loose items on deck and in the cabins below.
- Approach waves and wakes at an angle, taking no risks.
The last word…
If you are new to boating or are taking an exam and test, please don’t cheat.
Whilst I’ve given you the correct answer to the question on “which safety precaution should be taken first by a boat operator when boating in stormy weather”, don’t just tick the right multiple choice response and leave it there.
Continual refreshing on boat safety is essential, even for the most experienced of boat captains and operators.
You can find a wealth of boat safety information on Pontoonopedia, so please use the search functionality for more tips on how to make fun and safe memories on the water this year.
- Amy Cabanas