Summer is here and for water skiers, wake boarders and tubers, the water is calling for them come and have fun. The Boat US Foundation has provided the top 10 summer water sport safety tips that will help ensure everyone has a safe and pleasurable boating experience while participating in water sports. This article provides an abbreviated version of the top 10 safety tips. For more information on your state's safety requirements, go to the foundations web site listed below.
Things You Will NeedApproved flotation devices, red or orange "skier down" flag
The fist safety tip is to "Float First". Make sure that everyone being towed has a properly fitting life jacket. A Type III is recommended because of the extra buckles that provide a snug fit and can take a hard fall.
Talk to the hand. Go over hand signals such as stop (hand slashing the neck), slow down (thumb down), speed up (thumb up), OK (tip of index finger and thumb together), turn (point finger upwards in a circular motion) and return to the dock (pat head).
Always turn the boat's engine off when a rider is entering or exiting the water. A prop can rotate even while the motor is in "neutral".
Wait until the rider is far enough away from the boat and signals that it is OK to start the engine
Always have visual contact with anyone being towed. A spotter is a must and it is also the law in most states.
Always signal the person on the end of the towline when the next turn is coming. Use the hand signal for turning (finger upwards in a circular motion) then point in the direction of the turn.
Use extra caution when near other boaters, docks, navigational aids, and crossing wakes. Remember that the boats "footprint" is much larger with someone on the end of a towline.
Whenever someone falls, always look to both sides before turning around for a pick-up.
Riders should clasp their hands over their heads so those on the towboat know that they are OK. Some states require a red or orange "skier down" flag.
A skier that has fallen in the water should keep the tips of their skis up above the water so they can be seen by others more easily.
Summer is the time for water skiers, wake boarders and tubers to hit the water. Always practice water safety to ensure a happy and healthy summer experience.
Tips & Warnings
Learn the meaning of and obey the warnings of colored beach flags. Swim in areas with lifeguards present. Learn CPR, Never swim alone, always use the buddy system
Never swim or boat during thunder storms. If you see lightning or hear thunder get out of the water immediately. Lightning can strike even if you haven't heard thunder yet. A boat is usually the highest point on an open body of water.
Always go into the water feet first and never dive into the shallow end.