Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Boat Safety Tips: Flares and Socks

One of the best reasons to read the boating tips we often share on this site courtesy of the About.com Powerboating Guide is that the Guide's author, Ericka Watson, is a former active duty U.S. Coast Guard captain, and she has really seen it all when it comes to dangerous boating mistakes.

boat flares
USCG photo by Barbara L. Miller
Her boating tip today sounds pretty basic at first glance… "carry more flares on your boat." But instead of just preaching (like we usually do) about carrying more flares, Ericka shares a true story from her experience in the Guard where a bad situation was made worse by some inexperienced boaters that got into trouble and had only one flare.

Read the full story of her rescue experience to find out why we mentioned socks in the title, and remember these important safety tips about flares:
  • Check the federal and state requirements for your boat's size, and then carry extra (Perhaps the creators of Office Space had boat safety on their mind when writing the "more flare" scene – video below - with Jennifer Aniston)
  • Make sure your flares have not passed their expiration date. If in doubt, replace them. (More on this from boating safety expert Alan Sorum)
  • Read the instructions carefully when you first buy your flares so you don't have to learn how to use them in an emergency situation when every second counts.
Learn more about boating safety at FirstBoat.com



###