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PROVIDENCE JOURNAL FEATURES CBC BOATING SAFETY TIPS

“In addition to requiring life jackets be worn at all times, we stress the importance of being aware of constantly changing weather and wind conditions to remain safe on the water," John O'Flaherty, executive director of Community Boating Center in Providence, said in an email. The program, based in India Point Park, runs sailing classes for both adults and children. 
"It is not only important to know the weather forecast before you go out, but to also keep an eye on the sky for any signs of an approaching storm or changing weather," he said. "There are many cellphone apps to help track the weather, but nothing beats using your owns senses, especially common sense, when choosing to stay safe while boating.”

Read the article:
http://www.providencejournal.com/article/20150525/ENTERTAINMENTLIFE/150529646

Boating tips: Keep your kids safe with some gear and a few precautions
By Peter C. T. Elsworth

Boating is a fun activity for the whole family, but parents should take steps to ensure that a pleasant day on the water does not end badly.

“Life jackets are what first come to mind,” says Meg Myles, who sailed for the United States in the 2004 Olympics in Athens and now runs junior sailing programs in Jamestown.
Rhode Island complies with the Coast Guard rule that requires all boats to have life jackets for all passengers, and that children 12 and younger wear a life jacket when aboard a moving vessel less than 65 feet long. They may take them off below decks, or in an enclosed cabin above decks.

“And the jacket has to fit properly,” said Myles, who warns against buyinga one-size-fits-all jacket that may be less expensive. It will not only be safer, but more comfortable. And there is no substitute — Safekids.org warns against treating such swim aids as water wings and noodles as safety equipment.

And while it is important to have children learn to swim at an early age, wearing a life jacket is still the most important safety measure for all ages, as adults, too, should be cautious: Accidents, including falling overboard, may involve injury and even strong swimmers will tire without a jacket to keep them afloat.

“Boating safety advocates recommend that all boaters and passengers not only have a life jacket, but ‘Wear It!’ at all times while boating," advises safeboatingcampaign.com. "Accidents on the water can happen much too fast to reach and put on a stowed life jacket."
As it notes, “Drowning is the reported cause of death in three-fourths of all boating fatalities — and 84 percent of drowning victims in recreational boating accidents were not wearing a life jacket in 2013.”

Adults should set a good example, advises boatingmag.com, comparing the habit to wearing a seat belt in the car.

“In addition to requiring life jackets be worn at all times, we stress the importance of being aware of constantly changing weather and wind conditions to remain safe on the water," John O'Flaherty, executive director of Community Boating Center in Providence, said in an email. The program, based in India Point Park, runs sailing classes for both adults and children. 
"It is not only important to know the weather forecast before you go out, but to also keep an eye on the sky for any signs of an approaching storm or changing weather," he said. "There are many cellphone apps to help track the weather, but nothing beats using your owns senses, especially common sense, when choosing to stay safe while boating.”

Takemefishing.org adds the old sailing (and Scouting) maxim of being prepared, with everyone — especially children — having enough extra clothing to keep warm. And it argues for proper emergency gear such as flags, horns and fire extinguishers, as well as working ignition safety switches attached to a lanyard, that automatically turns engines off in the case of the driver falling overboard.

In general, hands and feet should be kept inside the boat. Myles said she teaches the importance of sitting properly in a boat and the basic rule of keeping “one hand for the boat and one hand for yourself,” or free. Boats are not stable and it is important to hold on particularly when moving about. “And don’t [let children] sit on the bow or the gunwale (side) of the boat,” she said.

“Kids want to have fun and go fast,” she said, but it is up to adults to supervise and keep the situation in order.

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Community Boating Center (CBC) is a non-profit, 501c3 recreational organization offering all members of the community an opportunity to sail and paddle. Located in India Point Park, CBC provides outreach, sailing lessons and affordable access to the Providence waterfront. Gifts of cash or property to CBC may be treated as charitable donations for Federal Tax purposes.

For additional information contact:

John O'Flaherty
Executive Director
Community Boating Center
info@communityboating.com
tel: 401.454.SAIL (7245)