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What should beginners know about boating safety?

Summer is right around the corner and many people in New York will be taking to their boats for the first time this year. If you are a first-time boat owner, it’s important you understand the proper safety procedures, both for the protection of your passengers as well as your own safety. offers the following tips, in this case, so you can rest assured of a fun and relaxing trip for all involved.

Enlist a skipper

The more people on your boat aware of the proper procedure, the better the chance you can successfully navigate an emergency situation. That’s why designating a second-in-command is so important. If you’re injured on the boat, someone else will need to assume control, and that someone should already be equipped with basic boating knowledge and awareness of operational controls. This will ensure your passengers won’t be stranded in the event of your injury.

Create a float plan

If your boat does end up lost, a float plan will provide instructions on how to find you. Your float plan must include the name and phone number of all aboard the boat, as well as the address of the outing leader or boat captain. Information on the boat itself should also be included, as should your itinerary and a listing of the available communication equipment. Leave a copy of the float plan at the marina, as well as with a family member.

Make all aboard wear a lifejacket

Regardless of swimming skill and ability, all aboard your vessel should be wearing lifejackets. In the event a person falls overboard, a life jacket is essential for preventing drowning. You can also reduce the risk of a serious boating accident by not drinking and operating the controls, and not allowing your passengers to imbibe while onboard.  

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