1.3 The Need for Safety

The Need for Safety

What Will We Learn in this Section


  • An understanding of the causes of boating-related incidents and fatalities
  • An appreciation of the importance of being prepared and putting safety first


Boat operators need to recognize situations, behavior, or events contributing to boating-related incidents and fatalities. Early recognition is often the difference between avoiding an emergency and dealing with an emergency.


The enjoyment we get from boating, related activities, and our waterways' great natural beauty often undermines our attention to safety. People are not creatures of the water, and our ability to survive extended periods of time in the water without protection is limited. Therefore, as a boat operator (or passenger), you need to be constantly vigilant for potentially dangerous situations and be prepared with the right equipment and reaction when you encounter them.


Knowledge is the currency of safety - the more knowledge you have (and apply), the safer you and your passengers are. Knowledge is accumulated through education, training, and experience and is a life-long process. Your ability to enjoy your boating activities is greatly enhanced when you are in control and prepared to deal with any situation that may arise.