Boating Safety 101

by: Davis Yancy Clegg

Changing Weather


Of course, we at Amelia River Cruises would love for every time you set foot on a boat to be one of our own. However, that will not always be the case. Whether just going out for a fishing day or buying your own vessel, you need to be prepared and well advised on boating safety.

According to the American Boating Association. There are over 500 fatalities every year associated with boating accidents. Compared to just a couple years ago, the number of deaths per year has increased by nearly 8 percent. Since 2001, nearly 9000 people have lost their lives. In over 75 percent of the boating deaths, the operator did don’t receive proper boating instruction. In 171 cases of accidents, victims were struck by a propeller, with 24 resulting in death. You’ll agree, this is important stuff! We want to see these numbers go down, or better yet – vanish entirely. There is only one way for you, your friends and family to be safe on the water. That way is through education and good ole practice. However, no matter how much experience you have or how many books you’ve read, no one is perfect. Re-reading through boating safety rules before departure is well worth the 5 minutes it takes. If it’s good enough for the Navy, it’s certainly good enough for you.

Boating Safety - Stay SafeOne of the first things checked before any of our boats leave the dock is the weather. This check isn’t done just the night before or morning of departure. Ask anyone who lives on Amelia Island about the weather. In fact, we have a local saying, “If you don’t like the weather here, wait and hour for it to change.” Any saltwater boating situation is subject to the same line of though. Regardless of whether boating in your local reservoir or out on the deep blue of the ocean, check your local weather conditions diligently. On board a vessel for extended periods of time, a radio is a must for both knowledge of impending weather conditions and any emergency that may present itself aboard. If you notice the sky to be filling with ever-darkening clouds, violent changes in the direction of winds or sudden drops in temperature, get off the water immediately.

Common sense – like in every other life decision – is your best friend on the water. Open water does not necessarily mean empty water. Be on the lookout constantly for other vessels, buoys and crowded swimming areas. No wake zones are there for important reason. Also, there should always be a number of life jackets equal to the number of souls on board. I am talking about life jackets that work! Lastly, be certain there is someone else on board the vessel who can safely be an operator. In the unfortunate event that something should impair you from doing so, someone must be responsible for your safety, and that of others on the water. Your local marina will be more than happy to provide you with further information such as checklists for operation and tips on boating with pets and overall safety courses.

Be safe and happy boating! Come cruise with us at ARC, our captains are second to none and will show you how it’s done!


Check out the Shrimping Eco Tour.  It is operating 10 am, Monday – Saturday. Great fun for kids!




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