Boating safety is a broad topic provided by various agencies, governments, manufacturers, and schools or training institutions that serve as instruction. Breaking it down to the core or definition of what boating safety is really all about would be … knowing what happens next out on the water.

Let me relate this to something you are probably already good at: driving on a roadway. When the vehicle is moving you instinctively know what the outcome of your actions will be – at least most of the time. That especially is true with stopping safely, avoiding collisions, and other adverse situations you routinely see. By applying this knowledge you prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

Now back to operating a watercraft, regardless of type, size, and location. The proficiency of safely driving or piloting a vessel is to know what to expect as the result of your actions as operator. This would also include environmental and other factors that can effect maneuvering and other components of boating. There are ramifications for everything we do. The secret is to use that same knowledge to predict, with accuracy, the outcome. Having that sense of awareness through effective training creates better response, resulting in increased safety. Nothing replaces actual experience or great virtual simulation and there is an alternative to keep proficient in this realm, even if you have taken courses in the past. Taking a boating safety class, especially if you are a seasonal boater, may be benefical. It can refresh your know-how in marine related areas.

The need for safety, security, survival credentials and license renewal is mandated by the USCG and International Maritime Organization every five years for commercial mariners. The requirement doesn’t affect private boaters without a license or other certifications. Through many years of research and experience, the worldwide maritime industry realized the need for renewal of this knowledge base was very apparent and therefore made into law.

The season is rapidly approaching so it’s time to begin preparing for an enjoyable and memorable time on the water. Consider adding some form of training to your experience and reap the numerous benefits boating safety has to offer. Contact me to learn more of how to develop these skills and be able to precisely answer: What Happens Next?