SOURCE: National Safe Boating Council

National Safe Boating Council

January 14, 2015 07:55 ET

Wear It! Shares Dos and Don'ts of Winter and Early Spring Boating

Boaters Need to Take Extra Precautions During the Boating Off-Season

MANASSAS, VA--(Marketwired - Jan 14, 2015) - While many boaters enjoy spending a bright and sunny day on the water in the winter and early spring, what looks like a perfect day can quickly become hazardous if you end up in frigid waters.

"It's important for boaters to understand the extra precautions to take during the off-season," said Rachel Johnson, executive director of the National Safe Boating Council, the lead organization for the North American Safe Boating Campaign. The yearlong campaign promotes safe and responsible boating and the value of voluntary life jacket wear by recreational boaters through the theme, Wear It!

"Simply taking a few extra minutes to make sure everyone on board is wearing a life jacket and that you filed a float plan can make a difference in keeping you and your loved ones safe in the event of an emergency," continued Johnson.

Wear It! shares a few dos and don'ts of cold weather boating. For more information, please visit www.safeboatingcampaign.com.

  • Do make sure everyone is wearing a life jacket. Even experienced swimmers can experience shock within one minute in the frigid water and may lose muscle control within 10 minutes.
  • Do file a float plan with someone you trust. Float Plans include details about the trip, boat, passengers, towing or trailer vehicle, communication equipment, and emergency contacts.
  • Do dress properly for the weather, always wearing layers, and bring an extra set of clothes in case you get wet.
  • Don't panic if you fall into the water. Stay afloat with the help of your life jacket, regain control of your breathing, and keep your head above water. Stay with the boat if possible.
  • Look for ways to increase your buoyancy. If you're in the water with others, huddle together with everyone facing inwards to help everyone stay afloat and keep warm.
  • Don't apply heat to extremities like arms and legs of a rescued victim. This sudden change in temperature may cause cardiac arrest.

Wear It! unites the efforts of a wide variety of boating safety advocates and is produced under a grant from the Sports Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund, administered by the U.S. Coast Guard. Follow twitter.com/BoatingCampaign and facebook.com/SafeBoatCampaign.

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