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Safe Boating With Your Family in Chesapeake Bay

Posted by Schaefer's Canal House on 1/10/2015 to Marine Store

Maryland may be small state but for tourists and travelers who understand what authentic vacation is all about; this eastern state offers a platform for different family-based excursions and activities. In Maryland Eastern Shore the choices can be exciting- trace the route that covers Cape Charles, enjoy swimming, fish, discover bird watching, boating or even test the waters of C & D Canal. Of these activities, boating often tops for many families. Boating is exciting and full of discovery, and the entertainment quotient definitely goes up in Chesapeake area. But just like other water-based activities, boating especially with family members must be safe. Here are some thoughts on how to keep your family safe when exploring Chesapeake and nearby areas.

Invest in life jackets

Whatever program or points of interest you choose, itís critical to pay attention to the safety boating requirements of your kids. Aside from guaranteed entertainment, a family boating program should include a safety program geared not just for the adults but also for the kids. One safety requirement that should form part of the plan is life jacket. More than a personal safety requirement, life jackets for your kids are required by Maryland law, made effective on April 1, 2010. The law states that children under 13 years of age must wear a personal flotation device prescribed by the United States Coast Guard.  The flotation device must be worn while inside a recreational vessel working its way along Maryland waters. Recreational vessel here includes sailboats, canoes, rowboats, kayaks and the life.

Of course, there are exceptions to this rule of wearing a properly sized life jacket. The same state law points that the kids may not wear life jackets when the recreational vessel is anchored or moored. Also, kids under 4 years of age should wear age-appropriate and regulated PFDs.

Have a float plan

There has to be a float plan and a member of your family should be aware of this or the local Chesapeake marina. Traditionally, the float plan will include the areas where you want to visit and the time table for your trip. But through the years the float plan information has evolved to include complete names of participants, address and phone numbers, the vessel type and communications available.

Stock on safety essentials

Youíll never know what will happen exactly when navigating the waters, so it pays to be ready and informed. For starters, youíll need to equip your boat with the basic medical and first aid kits. These kits are complete and come with the usual bandages, conforming stretch gauze, anti-microbial wipes, Acetaminophen tablets, Antihistamine tablets and the other essentials required during emergencies. Fire extinguishers and signalling devices should be on-stock and working at all times.

Check the weather

Weather checkups may seem basic unfortunately there are individuals who ignore this requirement. Aside from having a pre-departure checklist that will cover all boating essentials, itís also critical to assess the prevailing weather. Check the latest weather updates from TV or radio, or you can even get updates from smart phone apps on the current weather and 24-hour forecast. If you notice that the clouds are darkening, an extreme drop in temperature or rough winds, think about your family and get off the water.

Even if you are experienced and know your way around Maryland Eastern Shore, itís best to practice and keep in mind a few reminders. Conducting pre-departure checks, having a float plan and investing in life jackets for kids are just some of the many ways on how you can promote a safe boating experience for family members.

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