Operate your boat at a safe speed and stay awareof hazards.
NORTH AMERICANPRECIS SYNICATE
Before taking to the waterways, plot a course tosafety. GEICO Insurance Agency and the U.S. CoastGuard recommend the fol-lowing:1. Always wear a life jacket — The U.S. CoastGuard requires that all rec-reational boats must carry one Coast Guard-approvedlife jacket for each personaboard. Life jackets should be tested yearly and must be the appropriate size forthe intended user.2. Check the weatherforecast — A calm, sunny day can quickly turn intoa deadly storm. Check the weather forecast before venturing out. Also, keepa radio on board to receive weather updates and advi-sories.3. Take a boater safety course — Learn the properregulations and safety precautions. Most statesrequire operators to pass boater safety requirementsand display their safety cer-tificate.4. Don’t drink and boat — According to theU.S. Coast Guard, boating while intoxicated (BWI)is a leading cause of fatal boating accidents. Alcoholaffects judgment and vision,increasing the likelihood of an accident. It’s illegal tooperate a boat while underthe influence of alcohol.5. Preventative boatmaintenance — Regularly checking your equipmentfor safety ensures that it will perform better, reducedepreciation and save oncostly repairs.6. Operate at a safespeed — Excessive speed-ing is a leading cause of allreported boating accidents.Operate your boat at a safespeed and stay aware of traffic density and naviga-tion hazards.7. Learn the rules of the waterway — Waterwaysdon’t have traffic signalsto direct boater traffic. So boaters must depend oneach other by observingsafety precautions and navi-gational rules to preventmishaps.8. Hypothermia is a risk — Avoid entering the water when the temperature is below 59º F. Symptomsinclude a decrease in body temperature, uncontrolled breathing and unconscious-ness. When planning yourtrip, pack dry clothing in a waterproof bag and nevergo out alone.9. Install a carbon mon-oxide detector — Internalcombustion engines on boats emit a harmful,odorless gas called carbonmonoxide. The symptomsare similar to seasickness oralcohol intoxication.10. Create a float plan— Inform a friend or fam-ily member of your boatingplans and when you areexpected to return.
Ten tips for vehicle maintenance
2 • WEST SHORE SHOPPERS GUIDE • Sunday, April 22, 2012
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