101 Critical Days of Summer 2011
Travel responsibly on designated waterways and launch your watercraft
in designated areas.
Travel only in areas open to your personal watercraft (PWC).
Always wear a Coast Guard approved lifejacket (PFD).
When riding, make sure your lanyard is attached to your PFD,
wrist or clothing.
Always maintain your PWC at a safe speed. If you fall off
your PWC, always reboard from the rear.
Keep an eye out for other boaters, objects and swimmers.
Never jump a wake. If crossing a wake, cross at low speeds
and keep a close lookout for skiers and towables.
Comply with all signs and respect barriers. This includes
speed limits, no-wake zones and underwater obstructions.
Make every effort to ride with a partner on another
Do not ride at night. PWCs are not equipped with lights.
Make certain your trailer lights work and your PWC is secure
on the trailer before you travel to your destination.
Balance your load including items stowed inside your PWC.
Don’t mix PWCs with alcohol or drugs.
RESPECT THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS
Respect the rights of others, including anglers, swimmers, skiers,
boaters, divers and others so they can enjoy their recreational
Show consideration to all recreationists on and around
Be courteous to other boaters while in boat ramp areas.
Launch and retrieve your PWC as quickly as possible.
Keep the noise down, especially around the shore.
Do not idly ride around near beaches, picnicking areas,
campgrounds or shoreline residences.
If crossing private property, be sure to ask permission from
Educate yourself prior to a trip by learning rules and regulations,
planning for your trip, taking recreation skills classes and knowing
how to operate your equipment safely.
Obtain charts of your destination and determine which areas
are open to PWCs.
Make a realistic plan and stick to it. Always tell someone
of your travel plans.
Contact the land manager for area restrictions, closures,
and permit requirements.
Check the weather forecast for your destination. Plan
clothing, equipment and supplies accordingly.
Make sure you have enough fuel and oil for the entire trip.
Make sure your owner’s manual and registration are on board
in waterproof containers.
Always carry a Coast Guard approved working fire
extinguisher and warning flares.
Know distress signals and warning symbols.
Prepare for the unexpected by packing necessary emergency
Carry a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit and know how to
Know your limitations. Apply sunscreen, drink lots of water
and watch your energy level.
Take a PWC education course to learn more about navigating
waterways and safe and enjoyable PWC riding.
Make sure your watercraft is mechanically up to the task. Be
prepared with tools, supplies and a spill kit.
AVOID SENSITIVE AREAS
Avoid sensitive areas and operating your watercraft in shallow waters
or near shorelines at high speeds.
Always launch at a designated boat ramp. Backing a vehicle
on a riverbank or lakeshore can damage the area and lead to
Always travel slowly in shallow waters and avoid riding in
water less than 2½ feet deep. High speeds near shorelines
lead to large wakes which cause shoreline erosion.
Avoid sensitive areas such as seasonal nesting or breeding
Do not disturb historical, archeological or paleontological
Avoid “spooking” wildlife you encounter and keep your
Motorized and mechanized vehicles are not allowed in
designated Wilderness Areas.
DO YOUR PART
Do your part by modeling appropriate behavior, leaving the area better
than you found it, properly disposing of fuel, oil and waste, avoiding
the spread of invasive species and restoring degraded areas.
Pack out what you pack in.
Carry a trash bag and pick up litter left by others.
When fueling a watercraft, take every precaution not to
spill fuel into the water.
Be prepared. Carry a spill kit, which includes absorbent
pads, socks and booms.
Use a fuel collar or bib when fueling to catch drips and
overflow and prevent backsplash.
Observe proper sanitary waste disposal or pack your waste
Before and after a trip, wash your gear, PWC, and support
vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species. Make sure
to remove all plant material from your PWC, motor, trailer
and other gear and dispose on dry land in a garbage
container. Also drain livewells, bilge water and transom
wells at the boat launch prior to leaving.
To take Boat U.S. Foundation’s free online boater education course Click
Here.Educate Yourself and take an Online Boater Safety and License Course.For
more in-depth information about Personal Watercraft, download the Tread
Lightly! Guide to Responsible Personal Watercraft Use.Click here to get more tips
for all kinds of outdoor recreation.Commit to use your
watercraft responsibly by becoming a Friend of Tread Lightly! free.
DID YOU KNOW? Some of the Leading Causes of Summer Injuries & Deaths
in the Marine Corps on and off duty are:
Motorcycles / ATV’s
Drowning / Water Activities
Team & Contact Sports
The beginning of summer typically means it’s time to play ball, go
fishing, boating, hiking, camping, or simply relax and have a backyard
barbecue with family and friends. Whatever you’re into, apply risk
management when planning each and every summertime activity. Most of
the things that can go wrong in off-duty activities are easy to
anticipate and avoid. A few smart decisions go a long way toward
maintaining our Marine Corps combat readiness. Remember, our forces
are affected just as drastically by an off-duty mishap as by one
occurring at work or in combat. The summertime season, from Memorial
Day to Labor Day, are typically when more off-duty mishaps and traffic
deaths occur than any other time of the year. It’s a period when many
Marines are on the road traveling from one duty station to the next,
riding or buying motorcycles with little to no recent experience,
visiting family, attending beach parties, cookouts and other summer
events. Combining summer fun with alcohol consumption, hot weather,
not enough rest and high risk activities is a receipt for disaster. As
a Marine, you have the responsibility to prepare for and go into
combat at any time. At home, you have a mission on a more personal
level … to be there for your family, friends, fellow Marines and to
prevent tragedies that occur when people don’t manage risk and make
SUMMER WATERCRAFT SAFETY
Jet Skis are fun, fast and simple with just a handle bar, seat and an jet powered engine! You must
respect a machine with this much power. Safety is cool - getting into an Water accident where
people can get hurt is not. Yachting-n-Boating.com will provide safety tips and information you
need to protect yourself and other around you while operating. Here are top 10 tips and techniques
for Personal Watercraft safety:
Take a PWC Safety Training Course...most Boating Safety Training Facilities also offer Personal
Watercraft training and education. These courses will give you the 'rules of the road' and proper
operation of the PWC. Check with your states - Division of State Police Marine Law Enforcement
because now some states require by law you complete a PWC Safety Certification Course
before hitting the Water. The course must be approved by National Association of State Boating
Law Administrators (NASBLA). This course is also recognized by the US Coast Guard as acceptable
to the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.
Safety Equipment...All riders must wear a properly fitted, U.S. Coast Guard approved
personal flotation device (PFD). Next, securely attach the engine stop Lanyard to your wrist
or PFD. Keep it attached at all times; if you should happen to fall of the PWC the engine will
shut-off when the Lanyard releases the kill switch. Also be sure to have stored a fire
Stay Alert...While under way always keep your head on a swivel watching for potential
hazards or other PWC & Boats. The most popular accident on a Jet Ski is collision or
hitting something or someone while making quick turns at high speeds. Be extra
careful on high traffic times such as weekends and holidays. Alcohol will NOT keep you alert
as you should be; do not consume alcohol while operating the PWC.
It's YOUR Machine...No one knows your PWC or proper operating safety better then you; so
be cautious when letting someone else borrow your Jet Ski. Nearly 80% of PWC accidents
occur when the owner let someone else borrow their machine. If you let someone else
borrow it, ride with them first to show them proper handling and safety.
What age can I Operate a PWC...No one under the age of 18 should be operating a Jet Ski
(Manufacturers recommends 16 years of age as the minimum for PWC operators). Check
with your state and what they allow. Some states allow 13 to 17 years of age to operate
a PWC with a Boater Education Certificate and a photo ID. Children younger then 13 are
prohibited from operating a Jet Ski; they can however ride with someone who is 18 or older.
Keep you Distance...Avoid accidents by keeping your distance. Remember a PWC has no
brakes so the distance from other Jet Skis, Boats and Shoreline should be at least 50 feet.
Jumping the wake of another Watercraft is reckless and can be unnecessarily close.
Keep the Power coming...PWC's have no brakes, as mentioned above, plus they have no
rudder and they don't go in reverse! Sound challenging? Well it isn't. As you thrust forward
you turn the handle bars in the direction you want to go pressing the throttle to turn faster.
It takes practice but in no time you'll be doing 360's! Try renting a jet ski before buying or
borrowing to get the feel.
Daylight only...Personal Watercraft's are prohibited on the water before sun rise or after
sunset. They are not designed with navigation lights, so when the sunsets so does your
machine - on the trailer or lift.
Have Fun but Remember...Jet Ski's are considered a Power Boat and must operate under the
same set of rules. Yachting-n-Boating.com recommends taking the time to educate
yourself and others who will operating the machine about the proper Boating & Personal
Watercraft Safety with a training course near you! Or like what the rest of the world is doing,
take an on-line Boater Safety Course and save time and money!
Water Skiing or Wakeboarding...Doing these while hooked to the back of a Jet Ski is
awesome! Personal Watercraft's are faster then most Boats and make it easier to get on &
off the machine and quicker to turn around to pick you up when you wipe out! BUT you must
have a Jet Ski with a passenger rating for 3-people. While under way towing a Skier or
Wakeboarder there should be a 'spotter' designated only to watch the skier in case of a fall
so the driver can focus on a safe path of travel.
THINK: Don’t let poor decisions ruin
your life or future on the water!
Again, we encourage you to review the “Marine Corps Traffic Safety
Program”, (MCO 5100.19E), (MCO 5100.30B) Off Duty Recreation Order and
MCO 6200.1E Heat Injury Prevention. Collectively we can collectively
raise the bar in awareness, reduce risk and maintain a high level of
Click on the link for more tips.