Friends and family
Hints & Tips
Taking out your family or friends, even children and dogs should be, and can be, great fun as long as you have respect for the dangers of water. Children and animals are inquisitive, so extra care must be taken to keep them safe whilst on board.
Children can be assigned helpful and fun tasks to keep them entertained and to stop them exploring too much, to the point where they become at risk. Before entering the boat, make sure that all safety procedures are outlined and explain what to do in the event of an accident (no matter how small) so that panic and injuries can be reduced.
- Try to look for a boat with a cuddy, so that adults and children alike can have a shaded area to be protected from the weather, be this heat or cold. If a cuddy can't be provided, make sure that umbrellas, hats and warm blankets are to hand.
- Encourage the practice of safety and try to instil this into children through the use of play.
- Always place children within life jackets that are in working order and fit correctly. It should be encouraged that the children wear these in bright colours and at all times whist on the water, and entering and disembarking the boat.
A friend or family member does not have to be a child to be at risk. Make sure that you fully brief any guests on safety procedures and how they can help in the event of something going wrong. It is also worthwhile discussing with family and friends what is expected of them whilst on board. Whilst you do not want to sound too domineering in front of friends, it is essential not to go on the water without discussing safety and procedures.
- Make sure that everyone is aware of their allocated task and what their task entails.
- Ensure that people know how to use the radio and make mayday calls if required.
- Discuss the route for your trip if it is a long one, so that people know where they are heading.
- Tell guests what documentation they need in advance, such as passports, insurance and identification.
- Clearly plan and state departure times to all guests. The departure time may be planned due to light and weather conditions.