Know the weather
On the water, weather conditions can change very quickly, so it's important to be prepared and keep a close eye on the forecast before and during your trip, so you can get home safely.
Boating in poor weather conditions commonly results in safety incidents such as capsizes, swamping and people falling overboard. These incidents are often preventable, especially if plan your trip safely. Remember, when it comes to the weather forecast, if in doubt, don't go out.
When it comes to weather, you need to make considered judgments about your trip in light of the winds, waves and warnings forecasted.
The following steps will help you understand what to look for.
Always lookout for weather warnings before going out on your trip on the water. It’s important to be aware of warnings as you will likely experience poor conditions and there may also be a requirement to be wearing your lifejacket.
Make sure you check the weather conditions before and during your trip. This is important to know as the weather can change quite quickly and you don't want to be stuck out on the water or in danger. If in doubt, don't go out.
The local wind conditions are important to understand as they will impact your day on the water. Your local area may be impacted differently to forecasts that cover the broader coastal area.
Tides are very important to know if you are operating in a shallow area, under bridges or attempting to cross a bar. Know how the tides will impact your boating activity and make sure you have a plan on how to get back to your launching place or safe harbour.