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Boating safety for Father’s Day

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Tue Jun 11 09:07:03 MDT 2019

With Father’s Day just around the corner and the weather warming up, it’s a great time for families to hit the water.  Before you begin your annual Father’s Day celebration, check out our five Father’s Day Boating Tips to keep everyone safe.

  1. Take a family-friendly boating education course. Most recreational boating accidents are caused by operator factors—such as failure to pay attention, carelessness, recklessness, inexperience, excessive speed, and failure to watch for hazards. Boating safety courses are available online or through the mail and are a great way for everyone to learn the rules of the water.
  2. Get the family fitted with personalized life jackets. A life jacket can make a great Father’s Day gift! Make sure everyone in the family has a life jacket that fits. Check out inflatable life jackets for a comfortable option for those over 16.
  3. Get a free vessel safety check. Be prepared before you go out by having a trained and qualified auxiliary member of the U.S. Coast Guard conduct a safety check on your vessel to ensure compliance with federal, state, and local safety requirements.  
  4. Develop a family float plan. Before you go out on the water, give a responsible person or family member details about where you will be and how long you will be gone. This is important in case your boat is delayed because of an emergency, becomes lost, or encounters other problems. Make sure they have a complete description of the vessel and other information that will make identification easier.
  5. Always boat responsibly. Wearing a life jacket can make the difference between a fun-family outing and a potentially dangerous or deadly situation. Make sure you and your entire family remember to “Wear It!” this Father’s Day.

If you have any questions please contact Sara Smith, Boating Education Coordinator for the Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Recreational Boating Safety Program at 406-444-5280 or sarsmith@mt.gov.