Children on Boats are Still Children

This morning I received an email from a reader who was struggling with a boating safety question.  She and her husband enjoy the water and and they have two small children and they just couldn’t seem to get together on one issue: How much supervision is enough out there on the water?  She gave me permission to post her question and my answer to her here. What do you think? Your comments would be appreciated. Here is the email and my answer:     Hey Mario – Given your area of expertise, I was hoping you could provide an opinion on a boating matter to help settle a family discussion. Here goes – Do you think it is wise for an adult to boat alone with two 2-year-olds. They would be on a standard pontoon boat that has seating around the entire front and 36″ guard rail where there isn’t seating. The little ones would obviously be in life vests. The adult would not be wearing a life vest (but there would be an available life vest for him on the boat). Thoughts? Thanks for your input! I didn’t know who to ask and you came to mind!! If you are celebrating Easter – Happy Easter! A Concerned Mom Never shrinking from getting into the middle of a family …discussion…I replied. Dear Concerned Mom: There are a huge number of variables to consider and I thought about getting into all of them but I’ll just tell you my initial gut reaction and why I had it: […]

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By |April 24th, 2011|Boating Safety, Risk, Water Safety|47 Comments

Expect the Unexpected

The best place for boaters to be when heavy weather strikes is back at the marina – but weather changes can happen fast, the unexpected can extend your voyage, and in the middle of your first bad patch of sea is not the time or place to learn how to handle things in rough water.

By |June 16th, 2010|Boating Safety, SAR, Survival|1 Comment

Top Ten Boating Safety Tips

As a veteran helicopter rescue swimmer and now a marine safety specialist for the United States Coast Guard, I’ve seen a lot of boating trips gone wrong.  Accidents are accidents, but after twelve years on the job, I’ve noticed that most of the emergencies we respond to are easy to avoid.  With a little additional planning and preparation, you can dramatically decrease your chances of ever having to call for help.  Consider the following before your next trip and we’ll probably never meet. Remember where you’re going: Remember that “offshore” means “isolated in a hostile environment.”  Keeping that in mind changes the way you think about everything else. Your passengers: Do they have any medical conditions? Are they adequate swimmers?  What is their boating experience?   The answers make a big difference, but you have to ask the questions first. Life-saving drugs like asthma, heart, allergy meds, and insulin come along for the ride, or those who need them don’t.  Period. […]

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By |May 15th, 2010|Boating Safety, Coast Guard|8 Comments