The First Step in Boating Safety

Boat Safety Tool

One of the common rules associated with water activities is to always use the buddy system. In the event that an accident happens, there is always someone to come to your aid or who can go get help. Activities involving watercraft have a similar strategy, and it is called a float plan. Even though many vessels have radios and communication devices onboard, the extra step to protect your property and potentially your life is worth the effort.

What is a Float Plan?

According to, a float plan is often the most important boater safety tool, but it isn’t carried on the boat. This is the document that will outline your projected boating journey. It protects everyone on board by proving authorities, family, or rescue personnel with vital information that can help determine your location in the event of an emergency. Search and rescue professionals say it should include the following:

  • Details about the vessel such as the name, make/year/type, registration number, size, color, engine size, and unique features
  • Details about the safety equipment onboard such as sound or visual distress signals, anchor, navigation equipment, and number/color of lifejackets
  • Operator and passengers names, addresses, phone numbers, and emergency contact information
  • Description of the trip with departure and return, proposed route, emergency instructions

Take the time to complete a float plan before you head out onto the water. This could save you or your passengers’ lives.