When you are out on the water it is your duty to enforce all boating safety rules and to have in your possession all mandatory boating licenses. People used to be able to drive a pleasure boat no matter their age, experience, or level of boating safety training. That is no longer the case, however. Nowadays, most jurisdictions require that all motorized pleasure craft operators have a proof of competency in their possession when they are on the water. A boat operator’s proof of competency attests to the fact that the boater possesses the basic knowledge required for the safe navigation of waterways.

Wearing a personal flotation device (PFD)

Research has shown that sudden immersion in cold water represents a serious risk for a boater who is not wearing a PFD. This risk is present no matter how experienced boaters may be, no matter how advanced their swimming abilities, and irrespective of their proximity to the shoreline. The body’s reaction to the surprise of falling overboard and the shock of the cold water can gravely affect breathing, nerves, and muscular strength. Wearing a PFD gives you time to adjust to an emergency situation and allows you to help others. For your safety’s sake, always attach your life vest properly before going aboard.