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Safety

Aids To Navigation

Navigational aids are similar to traffic signs. They are placed at various points along our waterways to boaters locate their position and steer clear of danger.

The expression red right returning simply means that the red buoys are passed on your starboard (right) side when returning to port from the open sea (or going upstream). The opposite is also true when leaving port toward the sea, red buoys are port (left) side and green buoys are starboard (right).

All navigational aids are protected by law. It is a criminal offense to damage or interfere with them. Never tie your boat to a buoy, day beacon, or light structure mooring. If you should collide with or damage an aid to navigation, report it immediately to the Coast Guard or local sheriff's office.

Rules of the Road

To help everyone avoid collisions, the following rules of the road were set up. On the water the stand-on boat has the right of way. The give-way boat must keep out of the stand-on boat's way. (Navigation laws, fine of up to $350).

Crossing Situation:

The boat to starboard (right is the stand-on boat and has the right-of-way. It must hold course and speed. The give- way boat keeps clear and passes behind the stand-on boat.

Overtaking:

A boat being overtaken has the right-of-way. It must hold course and speed. The passing boat must keep a sufficient distance to avoid collision or endangering the other boat with its wake.

Meeting Head-on or Nearly So:

When two boats approach each other head-on, each must alter course to the right to avoid collision. If the two boats are far to the left of each other, no change in course is necessary

More Rules of the Road:

Proper Lookout

Boat operators should be experienced enough to recognize lights, waterway markers and boats as well as other hazards, and maintain a proper lookout for danger at all times.

Safe Speed

Boat operators must maintain a safe speed at all times to avoid collision. Safe speed takes into consideration such factors as visibility, traffic, weather conditions, and vessel maneuverability.

Anchoring

To anchor, bring the bow into the wind or current and put the engine in neutral. When the vessel comes to a stop, lower, do not throw, the anchor over the bow. The anchor line should be 5 to 7 times the depth of water. Anchoring a small boat at the stern has caused many to capsize and sink. Do not anchor at the stern.

Emergency Procedures

(Caution: These procedures may not apply in all situations.)

Capsizing If your boat swamps, DON'T PANIC:

Recognized Distress Signals

Signals illustrated below are recognized as indicating a boat is in distress and requires assistance. However, other methods may be used.

Person Overboard

If someone falls overboard:

Riding On Decks Or Gunwales

The following rules apply to riding on the bow, gunwale, or transom of a motorboat.

Alcohol And Boating

Drinking and operating a boat is a dangerous as drinking and operating a car. According to a recent study, 60% of all fatal motor boat accidents involved alcohol.

Operating a boat under the influence of intoxicant is against the law.




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