Before you head out to your local lake or river, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) wants you and your family to recreate safely. Here are a few boating tips to consider:
- Conduct a Vessel Check: Make sure you have the right safety equipment on board your boat such as life jackets, flares, navigation lights, a horn or whistle, and a first aid kit.
- Make a Float Plan: Email or text a float plan to a loved one or friend with details of your trip in the event of an emergency.
- Wear a Life Jacket: Everyone should wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket when in or near the water. You never know when an accident may happen, and a life jacket can help save you until search and rescue help can arrive. In swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed. By the time a person is struggling in the water, a rescue is extremely unlikely and places the rescuer at risk.
- Avoid Alcohol: Do not drink and boat.
- Actively Supervise Children: Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention. Do not assume that someone is watching them. Appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults. Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: they need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.