Recreate Safely With these Boating Safety Tips


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.