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Sarasota Boating - Tips on How to Stay Safe on the Water

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Sarasota Boating Tips: Staying Safe on the Water

Sailing and boating in Sarasota are fun hobbies, but being out on the open water can be dangerous. Swells and storms can sometimes pop up unexpectedly and if you fall overboard, you can drown. With many hazards, even when staying nearby, there are several important safety tips you should follow anytime while at sea.


Lifejackets may seem uncool and ruin your tan, but they are lifesavers. If you fall overboard while out at sea, even the strongest swimmer might need assistance. You could be knocked unconscious when you fall, or you might have to tread water for hours before a rescue. By simply wearing a lifejacket, you can save your life by having something to support you in the water, even if you are unconscious or are too tired to tread water. You should always have enough lifejackets on board for everyone.


Communication is the number one way to remain safe while on the water. There are several communication aspects that you must ensure to follow. First, be sure to communicate with others before you even leave. Inform people who are remaining on land of your plan in case something happens and you do not return. Those on board should keep an open communication, with one person in charge. Additionally, be sure to have a radio, cell phone, and flares handy in case of emergency.

Trip Report and Forecast

Sarasota boating trips should begin before you even leave the dock. Come up with a plan prior to departure, and file a trip report over your radio or fill out paperwork with the coastguard or to boat club officials beforehand. This will ensure that someone knows your plan and can be alerted if you do not return. Additionally, check all weather and marine forecasts before leaving. You will want to remain at home if there are any severe storm warnings. The most dangerous thing is being caught in the middle of a terrible storm.

Remain Aware

Although oftentimes when you are out on the open water it seems as if you are all alone, you still need to remain aware. Although you may not crash into another boat, there are many other obstacles that may surface. Reefs, shallow sandbanks, rough waters, and storms can crop up. You will want to ensure that you are at peak performance at all times. This means no alcohol or drugs, and if you are feeling sleepy or sick, you might want to remain at home. Being aware of your surroundings and able to tackle any emergency could save your life.

Safety Check

Before you leave the dock, you should always perform a safety check on your boat. Even if you just used it, there could always be something new that happens. Check for any leaks, ensure that the motor is working properly, and make sure you have a secondary source of motor power in case the first fails. Before you leave, make sure you everything is fully serviced. Additionally, always carry food, water, a first aid kit, communication tools, knives, flashlights, and other supplies in case of emergency.

Spending all day at sea on a boat is a luxurious way to spend a day. However, it is dangerous and you want to ensure that you return safely home, able to enjoy another day of Sarasota boating. We'll see you on the water!