Boating safety urged ahead of holiday weekend, summer weather
SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - It’s National Boat Safety Week and as we get ready for summer fun in the sun, we’re getting answers on how to stay safe while on the water.
Freedom Boat Club is an international company that has boats for rent docked in marinas all over western Massachusetts, including at Brunelle’s Marina in South Hadley. Matthew Carrick, president of the Freedom Boat Club of Greater Boston and Cape Cod, described the business as the “Zipcar of boating” where members can rent a boat whenever they like after completing mandatory training courses. He told Western Mass News that safety is their top priority.
“All of our members, whether they’re new to boating or have been boating their entire life, are required to go through our training program,” Carrick said.
With Memorial Day weekend just a few days away, Carrick told Western Mass News it’s even more important to focus on boating safety.
“I think that people get, often overlook, you know…they think boating is just about fun…It is about fun. Everyone wants to go out on the water. A lot of times people have too good of a time and don’t prepare or plan,” Carrick explained.
Carrick had this advice for boaters:
- Make sure you have all of your gear ready and with you before you dock
- Have a trip planned, know where you’re going - make sure people on the boat know what the intent for the day is
- Always have a sober skipper
- Always have a designated look out
“Make sure someone’s watching for wakes or big waves coming at you…Make it a game, especially if you have kids. Teach them what a red buoy means or what a green can means and teach them to tell you ‘Hey, there’s a boat coming. Make it a game for the kids and I think that will go a long way to get them excited to be on the water and being safe,” Carrick noted.
Carrick added that Freedom Boat Club encourages all boaters wear life jackets. However, for children age 12 and under, it is required in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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