Five Stupid Ways to Injure Yourself or Others On A Pontoon Boat
By CS Deam
Boating can be a safer and more pleasurable recreational
activity if you're mindful of your actions and take responsible
steps for avoiding the basic situations in which people get hurt
or killed. By keeping these five dangers in mind, and making it
second-nature to avoid them, you'll be far safer on the water
and find your time on the water more enjoyable.
Danger #1: Smoking while putting fuel in the gas tank - It might
seem like common sense, but it's worth emphasizing that gasoline
is still highly flammable even if your boat is sitting on top of
all that glorious water. Don't smoke cigarettes, cigars, pipes,
or whatnot around the engine or fuel tanks.
Danger #2: Smoking while near the battery (especially while
recharging the battery) - This one is more subtle because most
people don't realize that charging marine batteries produces
hydrogen. (You've heard of the hydrogen bomb, right?) Hydrogen
is highly explosive, and can build up in a closed battery
compartment when recharging. So the best rule is to not smoke
cigarettes, cigars, pipes, or whatnot around the your battery at
Danger #3: Operating the boat while under the influence of drugs
or alcohol. Most people will agree that drugs (even prescription
drugs) and alcohol impair judgment and response times and
shouldn't be used when driving a car. On boats drugs and alcohol
can be even more deadly because there are fewer protections (no
airbags or seatbelts, right?) and the mindset on a boat is
usually more relaxed. Why are people usually more relaxed on a
boat? Cars may be recreational to some, but to most people their
a practical mode of transportation. A pontoon boat, however, is
primarily recreational, and when we're in our recreational
mindset we often don't think defensively like we do when we're
on the road in our cars and trucks. Keep in mind that drugs and
alcohol should not be used by pontoon boat skippers and that
they cause serious impairments and subject everyone to more
Danger #4: Unfamiliar operators - don't just let anybody skipper
your pontoon boat. Inexperienced boaters may not have the
maturity or temperament to guide your craft wisely. Use your best
judgment before you hand over the well-being of your passengers
(and yourself and those folks in other vessels) to someone who
isn't a proven and experienced boater.
Danger #5: Piloting in reverse - when someone is in the water,
don't back the boat up and injure them with the propellers. Too
many bad things can happen when the propellers of your engine
start moving your craft backwards closer to the person in the
water. Boats don't have brakes - they DON'T stop on a dime.
This concludes our first installment of this two-part series.
The second installment, entitled "Six More Stupid Ways to Injure
Yourself and Others on a Pontoon Boat" will highlights six
additional dangers of boating - so that your time in the boat
can be more safe and rewarding. Make sure you read the second
article and test your knowledge of the common dangers that
boaters can face - and see just how safety-aware you are!
Article provided by www.PontoonBoatCentral.com.
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