1. The S.A.F.E. Boating principles stand for: Sober Boating, Alertness, Fasten Lifejackets, and Education.

    Answer: True. A handy safe boating guide to keep in mind at all times, the four S.A.F.E Boating principles above help to ensure boater safety on a variety of levels. Always be sober, always be alert, always use lifejackets when required, and last but not least, be sure to take the time to invest in an educational boater safety course.

Boat Safety

  • Plan your trip - check equipment, weather and vessel
  • Tell somebody where you are planning on boating and when you are expecting to return
  • Don't drink and drive 
  • Keep a proper lookout at all times
  • Only carry as many people as are permitted on your boat - and make sure there are enough appropriately sized life jackets for each person on board
  • There are mandatory pieces of safety equipment you need on your vessel - make sure you know what they are and always carry every item
  • Adhere to speed limits and other navigational signage
  • Wear your lifejacket when boating in poor weather conditions, when crossing a coastal bar, if a squall or storm approaches, or when boating alone away from immediate help
  • Know your limitations and the capabilities of your vessel - and stick to them.

Marine Crime Prevention


There are some basic steps we can all take to protect our property from theft.

  • Record all details of your boat and equipment - including serial numbers - and keep this list in a safe place
  • Engrave any valuable items - you can use your driver's licence number
  • Mark your dinghy with an identifying feature, such as your driver's licence number
  • Fit an anti theft device to your trailer
  • Fit a quality lock to your boat
  • Remove valuable items from your boat when you leave it unattended. If you have to leave valuables on board, ensure they are out of sight
  • Consider fitting a quality alarm to your boat

Boating and Alcohol Don't Mix  

Operating a vessel while under the influence of any mind altering substance is both illegal and dangerous. It became a specific federal offence on January 13,1988. If ones blood alcohol is at, or exceeds 0.08% (zero tolerance in some states) violators are subject to civil penalty of up to $1000 or criminal penalty of up to $5000, and also subject to up to one year in prison. Please respect the safety and well-being of others, if your going to drink, don't boat, it's as simple as that.
Remember operating your boat is at least as complicated as driving your car and boating accidents are just as dangerous. Yet the overwhelming majority of people  will refrain from driving their car while intoxicated, but feel its safe to drive their boats while under the influence. The fact of the matter is 50% of all boating fatalities are alcohol related. OPERATING A BOAT WHILE INTOXICATED IS BOTH ILLEGAL AND DANGEROUS. 

*Note that Channel 16 VHF-FM is a calling and distress channel, and should be only used in the event of an emergency.

The Loudest Whistles in the World - Even Works UnderwaterAll-Weather Safety Whistle Co
P.O. Box 8615
St. Louis, MO 63127
Tele: (314)  436-3332
Fax:  (314) 843-2317

The International Maritime Signal Flag System

A = Alfa Diver below (when stationary); I am undergoing a speed trial
B = Bravo I am taking on or discharging explosives
C = Charlie Yes (affirmative)
D = Delta Keep clear of me, I am maneuvering with difficulty
E = Echo I am altering my course to starboard

F = Foxtrot I am disabled, communicate with me

G = Golf I require a pilot
H = Hotel I have a pilot on board
I = India I am altering my course to port
J = Juliett I am going to send a message by semaphore
K = Kilo Desire to Communicate
L = Lima Stop Instantly
M = Mike I have a doctor on board
N = November No (Negative)
O = Oscar Man Overboard
P = Papa The Blue Peter - all aboard, vessel is about to proceed sea. (At sea) your lights are out or burning badly
Q = Quebec Request Pratique
R = Romeo The way is off my ship. You may feel you way past me
S = Sierra My engines are going full speed astern
T = Tango Keep Clear of Me
U = Uniform Standing into Danger
V = Victor Require Assistance
W = Whiskey Require Medical Assistance
X = X-ray Stop carrying out your intentions and watch for my signals
Y = Yankee I am carrying mails
Z = Zulu To be used to address or call shore stations

Just the Basics
Required Stuff to Have on Your Boat
A U.S. Coast Guard approved, marine-type fire extinguisher should be carried on your boat in a place where you can get to it quickly and easily. Extinguishers are not required on boats that don't have motors or on outboard motorboats less than 26 feet if there are no permanent fuel tanks installed.

You need to have a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) for every person onboard the boat. PFDs must be approved by the United States Coast Guard. In addition, if your boat is 16 feet or over, you need to have a throwable PFD onboard, and immediately available, in case someone falls overboard.

Every boat needs a working whistle or horn to make sound. Boats over 30 feet have additional requirements.

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