Boating is among the most popular outdoor activities in Iowa, but it is also one of the most dangerous. This is why the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) handed out a few boating safety trips in time for the Fourth of July, which is normally when boating activity in the country is at its peak. As the Mason City Globe Gazette reports:
“We urge boaters…including passengers…to remain alert to activity around them,” advises Susan Stocker, boating law administrator for the Department of Natural Resources. “Don’t overload your craft. The U.S. Coast Guard, along with manufacturers, determines the capacity of each boat and it is visible on virtually all boats.”
Some of the tips from the DNR include wearing life jackets at all times while in the boat, and carefully reviewing the state’s boating laws before setting off. However, people must also remember that taking precautions should begin as early as possible, particularly while choosing among boats for sale in Iowa.
Boaters should ensure that the vessels they select have the right specifications for their uses and their needs. Important features like weight capacity, horsepower, and hull thickness can spell the difference between a memorable cruise and an unfortunate accident on Iowa’s waterways and lakes.
For some people, the quest to find safe boats begins earlier than that, often while considering between a brand new boat and a pre-owned one. Technically, both kinds can be very safe. While new boats are expected to have the latest in navigation, comfort, and safety technologies, used boats from reputable Iowa boat dealers, such as White’s Marine Center, would have seen the right kind of maintenance, and have been closely inspected, repaired, and refurbished by skilled mechanics to guarantee safety.
In addition to all these buying precautions, boaters should also think about equipping their boats with additional safety devices. Fire and smoke alarms would be good investments, particularly as inhaling smoke from even a small boat fire can render one unconscious
Communication equipment, such as radios and GPS, are also good to have, as they can help first responders like the Coast Guard reach those in need in a timely manner. The Iowa DNR website has plenty of other safety tips that people can refer to for their next boating season.
(Source: DNR advises caution as peak boating season approaches, Mason City Globe Gazette, June 3, 2014)