NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – After a person died from a boat accident in Worcester this weekend, we’re taking a closer look at ways you can stay safe on the water.
The big advice, be aware of your surroundings and stay in the boat. Kate Bigelow said, “It’s just nice to take in the scenery. You know, take in western Mass differently.” Kate Bigelow is from Westfield, her family likes to go on the water all the time to enjoy what the Oxbow has to offer.
This was the family’s first time on the water this season and with that comes extra precautions to make sure everything is ready to roll. Bigelow reminded, “Check out your boat. Make sure that you’re taking all the safety precautions of checking out your motor, making sure you have life jackets with you, a paddle in case you get stuck out there.”
Clay Duda is the General Manager at the Oxbow Marina. He said doing those safety checks are crucial before you head down the river and many of them are mandatory. For example, the coast guard requires you have a life jacket for every person on board but you’ll also need, “An anchor, anchor line, throwing device, flares, fire extinguisher. All that has to be in the boat before they put that in the water,” he said.
Handling a boat can be a lot like driving a car- knowing what the signs mean, watching out for other boaters, and not drinking while steering. Duda explained, “You have to know where you’re going, your environment that you’re in, and watch out for other boaters as well.” Children under twelve are required to wear a life jacket. Clay recommends putting them at the front of the boat. That’s why they’re always in your line of sight.