Boating Safety: What To Do Before You Board - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Boating Safety: What To Do Before You Board

Posted: Updated: - National Safe Boating week is May 18th to the 24th and boating safety goes beyond just being ON a boat.  There are several vital steps every boater should take before getting on board.

According to Don Kidder of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 85, making a checklist will help you make sure your trip will be a safe one.  "You need to have a check-off list to make sure that you're covering all of the many things that you need to do to the boat, the engine and the electronics before you start the boat," says Kidder.

Filling out a Float Plan is also something that Kidder highly recommends.  A Float Plan is a form with information regarding the boat, the boat operator and what the itinerary for the trip is. "You need to file a Float Plan with someone who cares, a loved one, a person who will miss you when you don't show up," says Kidder.  "Also so law enforcement will know what they're looking for and where to look."

Kidder says that boaters should always keep the 1/3 rule in mind as well.  "The 1/3 rule is that you should have enough fuel aboard your boat, 1/3 where you're going, 1/3  to get you home and 1/3 for resources," says Kidder.

If you're over the age of 12 and you intend to operate a boat, you MUST have a Boater Education card.

Kidder is teaching a Boating Safety class at Columbia Basin College on June 15th for FREE that will get you a Boater Education card.

If you're interested in taking the class to get your card, you can email Don at

For more information on boating safety, click here.