Saturday, August 17, 2013

Are you really safe on the water?

   How safe are you on the water? Whether you're out for a pleasure cruise on a pontoon boat, tubing, or fishing, do you know for sure that if something unexpected were to happen you could handle it?
   Take it a step further and say you are flying to Germany. How would you feel if the pilot arrived late, clothing disheveled, yelled a hello to the passengers before climbing in the cockpit, starting the engines, then taxing to whatever runway he felt like.
   Commercial as well as general aviation pilots practice safety whenever they are around airplanes. Pilots arrived at the airport well before flight time to get weather briefings and file a flight plan.
   One of the crew will be responsible for making a visible inspection of the planes exterior. Is it leaking oil? Are there any loose or worn fittings? Does every moving part seem to be on the plane?
   Next, have corrections been made from complaints noticed by the previous flight crew? In the meantime is the weather changing? Is it still safe to go?
   Flight attendants make their safety speeches and demonstrations before it's time to go.
Boaters could take some lessons from pilots by checking the weather in advance, be sure the right equipment is aboard and that those on the boat know where to find a ring buoy, first air kit, or line.
   It doesn't hurt to have someone sit near the boats captain to see who the boat is operated in the event something happens to the boat operator.
   Give a little safety lecture and by all means include your passengers in your plans; where you're going, when you'll return and any other thing that may include points of safety and interest.
   Boating experiences are supposed to fun and enjoyable. Make sure the trip you take is just that.

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