Spending time in the water is one of America’s favorite pastimes. That said, there is an average of 4,000 fatal drownings every year in the U.S., and it is the 3rd leading cause of unintentional injury death worldwide. As such, it is vital that you follow these five tips for staying safe on the water.
Water Safety Tips
- Never Swim Alone
Swimming alone, especially in large bodies of water, is exceedingly dangerous. Take friends or family with you if you ever go boating or swimming. Taking on the water alone all but ensures that if something goes wrong, no help is coming. That risk simply is not worth it. If you must go out alone, at the least, make sure you alert someone before going on the water. Doing so means that people will know something is wrong should you fail to return.
- Wear a Life Vest
Wearing a life vest seems like a no-brainer; however, most people choose not to. Whether you think it is clunky or not, a life vest is designed to save lives. Wearing one on the water can save your life someday, and that should not be taken lightly. If you have not found a life vest that you are happy with, then there are plenty of designs and builds out there. A little bit of market research should be all it takes for you to find one that suits you.
- Avoid Alcohol
Boating and alcohol tend to be synonymous with each other nowadays. However, it is not illegal to consume alcohol while on a boat; it is against the law to be under the influence while driving. If you must drink, you should avoid any hard liquors while out on the water. Not only do you risk crashing your boat, but swimming while your motor skills are diminished puts your life in grave danger.
- Don’t Stay Out After Dark
Watching a sunset over a body of water is a breathtaking experience. Unfortunately, this has led to many inexperienced people tackling the water after dark. Getting disoriented in the poor lighting is not out of the question when on the water at night. It is better to be safe than sorry, so do not hesitate to cut a boating or beach trip short once the sun starts to set. You can always come back at a different time.
- Take Breaks
Taking breaks from swimming and allowing yourself to rest is important for your overall safety. Fatigue and cramps can sneak up on you if you push yourself too hard. These can make it hard to get back to land if you are to the point where you cannot stand up in the water anymore. Do not be afraid to sit down and relax as your body needs it.
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