There is nothing more important than safety on the water. As a boater, it is your duty to yourself, your passengers and other boaters to operate your ship responsibly and with a thorough understanding of smart fishing practices and safety requirements. Here are some fishing boat safety tips you need to know about.
1. Take a boat safety course
A safety course is the ideal way to learn all about boat safety and requirements. It can be completed online in most states. Check your state for more information on boating safety programs.
2. Pack a trench bag
A trench bag is a compact, buoyant bag that is loaded with critical boating equipment that you may need in an emergency. With the items in your trench pocket, you can call for help and survive on a life raft. It should be kept in a safe, accessible location on your ship so that it can be quickly accessed in an emergency.
3. Stow all required safety equipment
The U.S. Coast Guard has certain fishing boat safety requirements that recreational craft must comply with. These include life jackets, a fire extinguisher, a visual distress signal, and a sound generating device, but certain engine and lighting requirements also apply. Visit the USCG website or contact your government agency for more information.
4. Create a float plan
A float plan ensures that a reliable person is waiting for your return. Download and fill out a float plan form online before heading out on the boat. Leave it to a reliable person to notify the Coast Guard or other emergency services if you don’t return or check in. Notify your plan owner of any delays and your safe arrival home to close the float plan. Of all of the fishing boat safety tips, this one makes sure someone is watching you.
5. Know your waterways
In addition to becoming familiar with markers and channels, get familiar with the landscape below the surface. Study diagrams or maps to figure out where to avoid sandbars, flat areas, and even sunken debris.
6. Plan for the items
Check the tides and weather so you can pack the correct safety gear and plan your course for the day.
Please visit our website for more basic fishing boat safety tips. If you are ready to start fishing, make sure you have a valid fishing license first. As a responsible boater and angler, our waterways are safe for everyone!