Three Major Responsibilities of Every Boater
Collisions can be prevented easily if every vessel operator fulfills three major responsibilities.
- Practice good seamanship.
It is the responsibility of every boat or personal watercraft (PWC) operator to take all necessary action to avoid a collision, taking into account the weather, vessel traffic, and limits of other vessels. Such action should be taken in ample time to avoid a collision and at a safe distance from other vessels.
- Keep a proper lookout.
Failing to keep a sharp lookout is the most common cause of collisions. Every operator must keep a proper lookout, using both sight and hearing, at all times. Watch and listen for other vessels, radio communications, navigational hazards, and others involved in water activities.
- Maintain a safe speed.
Safe speed is the speed that ensures you will have ample time to avoid a collision and can stop within an appropriate distance. Safe speed will vary depending on conditions such as wind, water conditions, navigational hazards, visibility, surrounding vessel traffic density, and the maneuverability of your boat or PWC. Always reduce speed and navigate with extreme caution at night and when visibility is restricted.