Mangrove Marina

Call: 305.852.8380

Boat Safety: Essential tips for safe trips

Posted by
| Comments Off on Boat Safety: Essential tips for safe trips

The U.S. sees about 4,000 boating accidents annually. About 75% of those accidents include injuries. Here in the Florida Keys, we are passionate about safe boating. Our diverse waterways, which include coral reefs, hardwood hammocks, mangroves, seagrasses, and more, can be tricky to navigate even for experienced seafarers. At Mangrove Marina, we want you to stay safe as you launch off on the adventure of a lifetime. Here’s what you need to know. 

1. Check the weather.

Before you launch or even plan to launch, check the weather forecast to get a better understanding of the current and expected weather conditions. Look for warnings or advisories and read the forecast for the times you plan to be out on the water but also while launching and docking. If the forecast includes adverse weather conditions, consider waiting until the bad weather blows over. In other words, when in doubt, don’t go out. 

2. Have a plan.

Whether you’re from the Florida Keys or you’re just visiting, study the latest nautical charts to ensure you’re properly familiar with the area in which you’ll be boating. Check that you’ve got life jackets for every person on board, including children. 

3. Use appropriate safety equipment.

Regardless of your swimming experience, life jackets dramatically improve your chances of survival in the event of a boating incident. However, they won’t work if you’re not wearing one, so insist that everyone on board keep their jackets on. 

Also, take the time to buy and register an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon or EPIRB. When activated, an EPIRB transmits a distress signal that allows rescue crews to locate a vessel via satellite. Similarly, a personal locator beacon can be attached to your life jacket or clothing for easier location in the event of an emergency. 

While not necessarily safety equipment, polarized sunglasses can also be beneficial when boating. If the water looks brown through your sunglasses, it’s likely shallow. If you can see white sand, the water might or might not be deep enough. Dark blue or green-looking water is deep and should be easily navigable. 

4. Use caution on the water.

The shallow waters of the Keys can be treacherous for boaters. Use marked channels whenever possible, and monitor all navigational aids, markers, buoys, or signs to minimize the risks of shallow water. Keep radios and other critical safety equipment within close reach.

Even if the weather forecast indicates calm seas, keep an eye on it while you’re out. Here in the Keys, the weather can change rapidly. Fully charge your radio before heading out, and monitor the weather report for updates. If you run into any trouble, call the Coast Guard for help as soon as possible. You can always call back and notify the Coast Guard if conditions improve, so call sooner rather than later.

At Mangrove Marina, we’re committed to both fun and safety. We can help you find the best spots to explore while our ship store offers everything you need to get started. Our full-service marina can help you keep your vessel in great shape while providing ample leisure activities for you and your guests. Contact us today to learn more or to make reservations!


Newsletter Signup

Receive special offers & discounts.