[5/23/17] Water Safety Tips #2

Posted in Education, Recreation


Whether you cruise, sail, kayak, fish, or do yoga on a stand-up paddle board, you need to know the basics of boating safety.  Water Safety on KOZI is a summer long emphasis.

  • String a whistle onto your PFD (Personal Flotation Device), Always assume that power boaters don’t see you. Kayaks and canoes do not show up on radar, keeping a sounding device handy and ready so that you can attract attention if needed. Remember, in shared waterways the more boaters watching out for others, that safer everyone will be.

  • Stay in touch….Before going out on a boat, let somebody on land know your float plan (where you are going and about how long you’ll be out) Water conducts electricity, so if you hear a storm warning, get off the water as quickly as you can.

  • Lifejackets matter-not only provide additional flotation in case of a capsize or unexpected swim, they also provide an essential layer of warmth in cold water. Boat safe. Boat smart. Wear it, It’s the LAW! Try this life jacket experiment: See who can find and put on their life jacket in 30-seconds or less when you give the signal. It proves a point.

  • Motor-driven boat operators are required to carry a photo ID when on the waters of Chelan County.

  • Washington State law requires boaters born after January 1, 1955 to obtain a Boater Education Card.

  • No one shall operate a motor-driven boat or sailboat within 100 feet of a water area designated as a swimming area.

  • No vessel shall be operated in excess of the slow minimal wake speed (5 mph) in areas of Lake Chelan within 100 yards of the shoreline or where designated by marked no-wake buoys.

    Have Fun!! The pool and the beach are great places to learn new skill, socialize, and check out everyone’s new bathing suit. So don’t let paying attention to safety turn you off. Being prepared will make you feel more comfortable and in charge.

  • A motor-driven boat used to tow a person on skis, tube or other similar device shall have at least two persons (an operator and an observer) and a red or orange “skier down” flag on board.

  • The most cautious boaters can sometimes experience unexpected problems on the water. That’s why the U.S. Coast Guard recommends that all recreational boaters, including personal watercraft and paddle sport users, take advantage of the free Vessel Safety Check program every year. Website to locate Vessel Safety Check (Cgaux.org ) find tab get a vessel safety check.

  • Ski in a counter-clockwise pattern, leaving the shoreline at a 45-degree angle with the shoreline on the skier’s right.  Always wear an approved flotation device.

  • CROSSING- Every boat has a DANGER ZONE from the straight in front (the bow) to past the middle of its right (starboard) side. It’s similar to meeting a car at an intersection, the one on the RIGHT has Priority of Movement. Powerboats must yield to sailboats under sail.

  • KEEP IT BLUE Lake Chelan—Depositing Refus, Litter, Sewage, or any Foreign Material into Chelan County Waters is prohibited.

  • Rescuing yourself after you’ve been thrown out of the boat usually presents two choices. If you’re close to the boat and a strong swimmer, you may be able to swim quickly to the boat and get pulled back in. If you’re separated from the boat or in big whitewater, you may have to get through the rapid first. Float on your back with your feet downstream. This allows you to see what’s coming and to push off rocks and obstacles with your feet, instead of your head.

  • If the boat flips, protect your head from impact with hard objects like frames and oars. If you come up under the raft, get out from under it quickly, preferably on the upstream side. If possible, climb on the overturned boat and help right it.

  • Getting tangled up in loose ropes and straps can be very dangerous. Keep them properly secured and out of the way. NEVER tie yourself into the boat or tie a line around yourself.

  • Docking a boat can be a dreaded task for any boater. No matter the size of the boat, the current or the wind, it’s close-quarters maneuvering that takes the most gelcoat from boats. But it doesn’t have to be that way if you follow these simple rules.

  • Never approach a dock any faster than you want to hit it. A slow, steady approach is the sign of an experienced, steady skipper.

  • Never approach a docking situation without a plan. Perfect planning makes for perfect performance. It’s as simple as that.

  • Communicate your plan to your crew and clearly delegate any tasks you would have them perform. For instance, assign one competent passenger a bow line, another a stern or spring line. You might want to have other passengers hang fenders over the side at contact points to avoid scratching the boat. Assign these tasks and the order in which you want them done well in advance of the maneuver.

  • It’s always best to approach a mooring against the current, when possible. Always gauge the current as you come in, because its direction and momentum will determine your safest, most practical approach.

  • There is only one skipper in a boat. You know who he is. No matter who is at the helm, the skipper is always responsible for his crew, so make sure you plan, prepare your crew and do so in a friendly, but firm and clear, way.


  • Remember,   B E S A F E* – KNOW YOUR…



    Safety devices and PFDs

    Alcohol limits

    First aid and emergency procedures

    Environment (area and weather)



Brought to you in part by: 

Corp of Engineers, Stan’s Merry Mart, Seattle Children’s Hospital (Wenatchee), Slide Waters, Lake Chelan Community Hospital, O’Connell Drilling, Shoreline Water Craft @ LC, LC Community Hospital Foundation, City of Brewster, Sunset Marina, Brewster Marketplace, Okanogan Emergency Management, Brewster Boys & Girls Club