Safety matters every time out, and during Safe Boating Awareness Week, the boating community rallies around responsible riding. Learn more on the three pillars of a respectful outing: Safety, environment and etiquette.
We want every experience on the water to be a positive one for you and others. That starts with understanding the proper way to ride and wearing the essential safety gear like life vests and neoprene shorts.
Whether it's your first ride or your 500th ride, there are certain safety precautions that must be taken before you ever leave the shore. You probably already know wearing a properly fitted life vest is legally required for both watercraft operators and passengers.
The piece of riding gear that often gets overlooked are the Neoprene shorts for both driver and passengers. But do you know why you must wear one? We all love the thrill that instant acceleration provides. If you aren't careful, it's possible you or your passenger may fall off the back of the watercraft when it accelerates. If that occurs, neoprene bottoms of at least 2 mm in thickness can help prevent water intrusion into private areas that could cause severe internal injuries.
In addition to these two items, it’s equally important that you remember to attach your Sea-Doo D.E.S.S. key tether to the D-ring on your life vest or around your wrist. In the event you fall off your watercraft, this ensures power is cut to the engine and you can easily retrieve and reboard your Sea-Doo to continue on the day’s adventure.
In order to get the most out of every ride, it's important to remember we share the water with others. As responsible riders, we stay aware of other boats, mind our speed and respect safe riding distances at all times.
Understanding that we are not the only ones out on the water is key to getting the most out of any adventure. One of the best ways we can be responsible riders is by learning and respecting the rules of the waters we are riding. Do you know how far away we need to be from shore and other boaters? Each area has its own regulations when it comes to safe riding distances. Make sure you understand them before you leave the shore.
Speed and noise are two other things we pay careful attention to. If you're riding close to shore or other boats, be sure you slow to an appropriate speed and scan constantly. The reduced wake and noise will be greatly appreciated and everyone will have a better day because you kept your responsible riding etiquette in mind.
A Sea-Doo can take you to some incredible places - even places other boats aren't able to go. As a responsible rider, it's essential to be aware of areas where extra precautions should be taken.
Those unforgettable moments provided by your Sea-Doo are definitely something to treasure. By riding responsibly we can ensure those moments remain possible. Here are three examples of areas we need to be extra aware of our riding environment:
• Prohibited riding areas - Unfortunately there are some places that are off limits to watercraft. This is to protect unique marine environments and fragile ecosystems. Before you head out on the water, understand if there are any such areas you need to be aware of.
• Coral reefs - Their underwater beauty is something to behold. While they make for a great snorkel, it's important to remember coral is a living organism. Reefs can be closer to the surface than you realize and the best practice is to stay a safe distance away. If you want to enjoy the reef, drop anchor away and swim over for a closeup.
• Shallow water - Shallow water is often warmer and attracts marine life. Slow down and be on the lookout. If you are lucky enough to encounter a new friend, be sure to give them plenty of space.