Responsibility to Your Passengers
As the operator of a boat, you are responsible for ensuring that your passengers understand basic safety practices and laws.
- Use a pre-departure checklist to make sure you've taken the necessary safety precautions.
- Before departing, have a safety discussion with everyone on board. Some of the things you should point out are:
- Locations of emergency equipment—life jackets (PFDs), fire extinguisher(s), visual distress signals, first-aid kit, and bilge pump
- The need for all passengers to wear a PFD, especially during times of high boat traffic, severe weather, or any other dangerous boating conditions
- Laws about reckless operation, required equipment, and waste disposal
- Safety procedures for responding to a fire or someone falling overboard
- How to signal for help or use the VHF radio to make a MAYDAY call
- How to anchor the vessel and handle lines (ropes)
- Conduct emergency drills with your passengers so that everyone knows what to do in case of a boating emergency.