Operating a personal watercraft on the waterways of Gulf Breeze can be exciting and scary at the same time. As safe as you might be when operating the watercraft, there is always the possibility that someone around you is not following the rules of the water. Here are some boating safety tips for all experience levels.

It’s best to monitor the forecast prior to heading out on the water each day. It might be sunny and calm when you begin your excursion in the morning, but as everyone knows, the weather in Florida can change on a dime. Don’t go out on the water if the forecast is not clear for at least several continuous hours.

You should never go out on your boat alone. Even with today’s technology, you won’t be able to call for help if you get knocked unconscious while alone. It’s best to go boating with at least one other person. Make sure this person knows where all of the safety equipment is located, including the first aid kit, so he or she can tend to you in an emergency.

There needs to be a Coast Guard-approved life jacket on the vessel for every single passenger. If your vessel is boarded by a member of the Coast Guard, one of the first things you will be asked to present is a life jacket for all aboard the vessel.

Alcohol and boating is a bad combination. It’s just as bad as driving while under the influence, and it’s also illegal. Don’t compromise your judgment by having even just one drink when you plan to enjoy a day on the water. It’s not worth it.

Following the rules of the water is important when operating a watercraft of any size. You need to know what to do in an emergency, where safety equipment is located and how you can prevent accidents so you return home safely.

The Law Offices of John W. Merting assists people in pursuing injury compensation after serious boating injuries and fatalities occur.