Boating Safety: Tools to Prevent an Emergency Situation - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Boating Safety: Tools to Prevent an Emergency Situation

Posted: Updated: - This week is National Safe Boating Week and there are many tools available to keep you safe before you end up in an emergency situation.

According to Don Kidder of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 85, there are three tools that EVERY boater should have before getting out on the water: a set of charts (maps), a VHF Radio and a GPS navigation unit.

"I think the most helpful is a good set of charts," says Kidder.  "Know how to read them and how to use them.  You should at any given time be able to look at the chart and say this is where I am."

Kidder says that all three of these vital tools can be found at most sporting goods stores.  While you may not use the charts as often as the GPS navigation unit, there is always a chance that it may fail (as most electronics can).

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.