Complete a checklist, such as the following, before going out on the water to make sure you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions.
- Check the weather forecast and water conditions.
- Check for leaks in the hull.
- Drain all water from inside the boat.
- Make sure all paddlers and passengers wear:
- A life jacket in good condition, with a whistle attached
- Clothing appropriate for the water temperature and conditions
- A hat (or helmet if white-water paddling)
- Be sure gear is secured properly to keep it from shifting in rough water conditions or falling overboard if you capsize.
- Leave a float plan with a reliable friend or relative.