Sailing Safety Tips

Here are some tips for safe sailing.

  • Stay off the water during storms or periods of high winds.
  • Carry a flashlight in case you remain on the water after dark. Shine the light on a sail to warn approaching vessels of your presence if you have no navigation lights or if another vessel does not see your navigation lights.
  • Remember that sailboats with an engine must have the red, green, and white navigation lights.
  • Remember that the mast can be a conductor for lightning. Be aware of masthead clearance when passing under power lines and bridges.

Fishing is the most popular activity among boaters. Anglers using vessels can be at risk. Unfortunately, anglers capsizing or falling overboard are common fatal boating accidents.

Anglers fishing on a boat

Anglers who use vessels to fish need to think of themselves first as vessel operators. If you fish and boat, you should:

  • Know and follow all safe boating laws and requirements.
  • Pay attention to the capacity plate and not overload your vessel.
  • Wear a life jacket (PFD) especially when the water is cold or when fishing alone or in remote areas. (A PFD is required in most competitive fishing tournaments.)
  • Recycle or toss used fishing line into receptacles on shore and not into the water or onto shorelines. Fishing line is not biodegradable and is dangerous to wildlife and propellers.
  • Take care of your fishing boat just like you do your fishing equipment.

Boating in the Vicinity of Anglers

Vessel operators who are boating in the vicinity of fishing boats should:

Two men fishing from a boat
  • Slow down when approaching fishing boats or give them a wide berth.
  • Never run over anglers’ lines. Be aware anglers may have lines out to the sides of their boats or trolling behind them.
  • Never disturb fishing boats by making a large wake. An angler at anchor could be swamped by another vessel’s cruising wake.
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