Boating season is about to head into full gear. The weather is warming up, but the water temperature is still deadly cold. Boaters need to be extra careful not to fall overboard especially if boating alone. Also, personal floatation devices should be used at all times.
Now is the time to summarize your boat and equipment and to get everything ready for the season. Inspecting and repairing things now will insure you have an enjoyable time on the lake. Inspections should be done on all powered and non-powered boats.
Inspections for power boats should include a review of the fuel systems, electrical connections, batteries, lights, kill switches, fire extinguishers, safety equipment and any other areas critical for safe boating.
For non-powered boats, you should inspect and test all Arkansas required safety equipment to make sure it is in good working condition and stored correctly in the boat. If night time operation is planned, navigational lights are required to be on board and functional.
You should also make sure all your state and POA boating registration is valid for the 2015 boating season. Once you complete these inspections, you're ready to head to the lake.
When you head to the lake, make sure you are aware of any predicted weather changes for the day. Weather can change rapidly and create unexpected situations for boat operators. If you are caught in severe weather:
Prepare the boat.
Prepare your passengers.
Decide whether to go to shore or ride out the storm.
You can find more information on safe boating operations, safety requirements and boating tips in the "Handbook of Arkansas Boating Laws and Responsibilities."