Storms are one of the most powerful forces in the universe. They determine when life on Earth will end and how much damage they can cause.
If you have never experienced a stormy day before, you are in for a special kind of treat. With hundreds of weather forecasts broadcasting information about the weather, there is no need to worry.
You will be able to find clear skies almost every day, and it will be impossible to sleep peacefully because of the thought of what could happen if it rains. This is what makes storms so exciting for someone who loves boats.
Since storms make boating dangerous, it is important to know which safety precaution should be taken first by an operator when boating on a boat in stormy weather.
Ensure all passengers are wearing their life jackets
It is very important that boat operators make it a practice to have all passengers and children wearing life jackets when boating in stormy weather.
As stated earlier, boats can be heavily damaged by large waves. This is one of the reasons why more people should always have a life jacket on when boating.
When attempting to maneuver through waves, boats can be very easily knocked off course or into water that you would not otherwise be able to reach. Having the ability to put on a safety jacket and use it as a cover or protect against damage when boating is a good idea.
It is also worth mentioning that children often like to go in and out of the boat while in the water, which can prove dangerous if he or she is not protected.Producing and wearing out the safety jacket yearly will help ensure it works properly, too.
Do not operate the boat if you are tired
Even if you are not in the middle of your safety precaution cycle, it is important to stay alert and safe. Your ability to safely operate the boat depends on your pre-conceived ideas of how the boat should function when boating in weather conditions such as those encountered while boating.
Operators who are most alert and prepared for any situation are able to successfully maintain control of the boat, scan for hazards, and leave if necessary. Others may be more successful in escaping a situation with minimal preparation.
Boat operators who take the time to wear sunscreen and listen to podcasts or audiobooks on safety are more likely to be successful in maintaining a safe and pleasant boating experience. These tips can be done before water conditions make safe navigation difficult.
Know your route before getting underway
The weather can change rapidly, which is why it is important to know your route and safe swimming areas.
Storms are very likely to occur in the late afternoon and early evening when boats are traveling at a slow pace. At this time, if the weather looks severe, calls for gale or heavy winds are enacted.
At these times, it is important to know where one can go in case of an emergency.
Check the weather reports and forecasts
Before leaving the house, check the weather reports and forecasts. Some weather systems may be considered storms by the National Weather Service (NWS), while other conditions are called storms but different.
Storms can develop into severe weather, sometimes causing boats and vessels to be hard to see and unsafe. Even small changes in wind speed or direction can make a big difference in how your boat performs, so take the chance to get checked out!
If a storm is expected, take extra precautions to keep yourself and your boat safe.
Listen to marine radio broadcasts
Radio broadcasts can help you avoid a call to the authorities or safety officials when weather conditions are dangerous for boating.
As mentioned earlier, when radio traffic is interrupted, it may be preceded by silence. This is due to communications equipment rebooting itself, especially for new technology such as satellite communications.
This can be a relief making you feel more comfortable and safe in your boat. The person calling may even go ahead and asking you what precautions you are taking, since they did not realize before how much safety precautions people should be taking on a boat!
However, this does not apply to emergency broadcasts.
Keep an eye out for signs of bad weather
Storms can produce heavy winds, heavy rains, and dangerous flooding. These events can cause boats to capsize or depart from the water!
If a storm is determinedly happening, then the first safety precaution should be to keep an eye out for warning signs. These include possible weather forecasts, news articles, and social media reports on other boats or storms.
Boat operators are advised to check their radios and cell phones at all times to be sure they are working properly. If any of them have an emergency contact information, they should keep that as well!
Finally, boat operators should keep an eye out for warning signs that the storm is changing direction or heading away.
Try to keep below the surface layer of the water
When weather conditions are severe, boats should be kept below the surface layer of the water to prevent entrapment and protect the boat and its occupants.
This is particularly important when rowing or sailing a boat because you can be caught underwater if your oar or sail comes loose.
When fishing, you can be caught in the water if your line comes loose. When hunting or fishing where water quality is important, there should be good protection against flooding of habitats and rainwater runoff because of runoff from larger storms.
Moving around in boats or riding in them in vehicle rides are two things that require safety precautions because of risk of injury or drowning. Similarly, boating with kids who are not yet able to swim should take additional safety precautions such as being aware of hazards such as currents and underwater obstacles.
Avoid waves and swells by steering away from them
These are created by the wind and waves can surge and break
When there is a storm in the distance, it can be difficult to determine if it is really a storm or just beautiful weather. Many people take a protection rack for granted when they are out fishing or boating.
If you fish, you should be aware of your protection rack to ensure it does not break when the boat is hit with waves. If you boat, you should be careful that the boat does not get stuck in the storm!
Hopefully this article was able to help you prepare for which safety precaution should be taken first by a boat operator when boating in stormy weather.