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    Five Tips for Social Distancing While Boating

    Five Tips for Social Distancing While Boating Blog Header

    Photo By Pamela Doty | Blog Header read more read more



    Story by Pamela Doty 

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Water Safety

    These are strange times in our lives to have to think about social distancing while spending time on the water in our vessel of choice. Hopefully, those who are not feeling well will stay home and not go boating. However, one of the frustrating things about COVID-19 is that you can be a carrier of the virus and not be showing any symptoms. If lakes and rivers near you are open, these are five tips you need to do to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 when going out on the water.

    1. Plan Ahead. You need to check the weather and make sure where you’re going is still open before you head out. If you’re going to be somewhere where you can’t wash your hands, take plenty of hand sanitizer. Wear disposable gloves when fueling your boat and vehicle. Research shows that everything you touch at a gas pump has more bacteria on it than a toilet seat. Pack all the food and water you will need for your trip. It’s critical to stay hydrated with water during a day on the water. Many types of beverages (alcohol, caffeinated) have a tendency to dehydrate you so be sure to pack enough water for everyone. Staying hydrated can help you stay awake, especially while driving home after a day on the water. Also, share your float (or paddle) plan with a responsible person not going with you. The best float plans include your contact information, a description of your vessel (registration number, make, color, and length), when you plan to leave and where from, where you plan to go, and how long you plan to be gone. Plus, don’t forget to contact your responsible person as soon as you’re off the water.

    2. Stay Close to Home. Shorter trips mean fewer stops for bathroom and food breaks when you’re heading out on a trip to the water. You’ll want to avoid coming into contact with others and things others have touched as much as possible while traveling to your destination due to those who may be spreading COVID-19 unknowingly.

    3. Boat Only With Those in Your Household and Wear Your Life Jackets. Those in your own household that are all following the same safe practices may be the only ones who are safe to be with out on the water. Also, you may have COVID-19 even if you’re not showing any symptoms, so please minimize your exposure to others. As always, wearing your life jacket increases your chances of surviving a fall overboard and helps those who may be inclined to exceeding their swimming abilities in open water, which overall helps reduce first responder recovery missions. In these times, it’s good to be extra safe in everything we do to limit emergency room visits to life-saving needs, especially where hospitals are overly burdened with treating COVID-19 patients.

    4. Distance at the Dock. Some states have implemented face covering requirements in public places. Plus, it’s recommended to keep six feet between you and other people even outdoors. Give others plenty of room when launching or loading a vessel at the ramp. It’s a good idea to wear face covering and gloves if you’re near anybody outside of your own household.

    5. Avoid rafting or tying boats together. Keep your vessel away from other vessels. Maintaining a safe distance from other people is not as possible when boats are rafted together. Another reason is if a generator or engine is running it increases your risk of getting carbon monoxide poisoning, especially if you’re swimming around the boats.

    It’s critical that we all follow these tips while we’re out on the water. Hopefully, someday we can all get back to life as we knew it. Slowing the spread of COVID-19 will help us get to that sooner. Stay safe and healthy out there when you’re enjoying the water! #ResponsibleRecreation



    Date Taken: 05.07.2020
    Date Posted: 05.07.2020 18:22
    Story ID: 369479
    Location: US

    Web Views: 402
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