Summers are the best times to go sailing on a pontoon and feel the fresh, cool breeze thereby effectively beating the heat. In fact if friends and family accompany you, it can turn out to be one of the best trips you ever made. But it is equally important for all of you to be safe while on board. And if you are the one owning the pontoon boat, their lives become your responsibility.
Statistically speaking, last year saw over 4000 recreational pontoon boating accidents take place, which resulted in a loss of around 610 lives and 97 suffered minor to major injuries. Taking these numbers into account, if a root cause analysis is done, the major contributing factors would be:
- Alcohol: Piloting under its influence causes a slack in concentration which in turn causes accidents.
- Speeding: Speeding or over-speeding causes a person to take sharp turns thereby making him loose control of the boat and cause and accident.
- Negligence: This is simply due to human error wherein you tend to skip following safety measures or become lax in their implementation.
When accidents involve two or more boats, the collateral damage caused is also very high. Not only are the boats damaged in these, people die for no fault of their own. And it is their family members who have to bear the consequences of someone’s mistake.
To avoid such a situation, a checklist should be prepared and the following kits need to be made for carrying on the boat.
- The emergency kit: This fit should consist of a fire extinguisher, life jackets, ring buoys etc. Special care must be taken to ensure that there are ample numbers of life jackets so that individual family members and friends can take one each.
- The first aid kit: This kit should be a compilation of all the emergency medications that can be administered to a person in need before even calling in the emergency services.
- The safety kit: This kit ideally should consist of things like the pocket knife, the radio, the battery charger etc.
Over and above all this performing routine maintenance checks on the pontoon engine will definitely make for a hassle free trip. Of course ensuring regular check-ups on all the other systems present on the pontoon as well as keeping the navigation lights working fine will turn your boat into the best pontoon boat anyone could ever have.