Dear Amy: A friend invited me to join his family on a boat ride. I have never been on a boat, and I’m a little nervous about how safe it is. Can you help? — Jamie T., Port Townsend, Washington
Dear Jamie: Boating is a fun summer activity, but remember a few rules. Safety is the most important one. Never go out on a boat alone, and always have an adult onboard. Even if your friend has been boating with his parents many times, an experienced adult must be with you.
Next, wear a life jacket. Even if you are a good swimmer, currents in a lake can be strong, and the water is much deeper than a swimming pool, so a life jacket is mandatory.
When you’re out in the sun, wear sunscreen and bring extra along to reapply as needed.
Weather can be tricky on the water, because even if a day starts out sunny, a storm can blow up suddenly. Check the weather report before you go, and be aware of the wind and clouds while you’re on the water. If you see a storm coming, head to shore. For other tips, check out Boating Safety Sidekicks, boatingsidekicks.com/besafe.htm.
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