It is the boater’s legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their passengers. Everyone aboard should receive a safety briefing before departing from shore and complete a pre-departure checklist.
Boaters are responsible for showing passengers where the safety equipment is located and how to use it. As well as ensuring that the communication equipment is in good working order, everyone must be knowledgeable about its use. In an accident involving the driver, at least one other person on board should be able to operate the vessel.
During the pre-launch process, the following topics should be discussed with all passengers to prevent accidents, increase safety, and speed up emergency response:
Boat operators should also train passengers in a mock emergency scenario to know what to expect.
Keeping the load of the boat to a minimum can ensure the boat’s safety. The operator should consult the capacity plate to indicate the number of passengers and the weight that the vessel can accommodate.
There is a risk associated with overloading a boat with passengers and equipment. A large watercraft, for example, can dip under water or crash into small waves if it is too heavy. Additionally, boaters must ensure that their loads are evenly distributed, as an uneven load may make a watercraft unstable.