Keeping Yourself Safe Working in and Around the Water

If you spend large amounts of time on boats or out at sea, you must know how to keep yourself safe, both physically and for the wellbeing of you and your family. No matter what occupation you have, there are certain universal ways to keep yourself safe at sea.

Know Your Rights

Over the past century, there have been protections put in place to protect the rights and jobs of seamen. For example, the Jones Act was passed in 1920, and it requires that any goods being moved between two ports within the United States must be moved on American-built and operated ships. This helps American industries flourish without having to rely on international products and services to get the job done. There are other laws and acts that ensure safety and job stability for the seamen of the United States, but this act is one of the oldest and most important.

Buy Insurance

If you own a boat, you need to be prepared for an accident to happen while you are on the water. Boat insurance works similarly to insurance on any other vehicle to financially protect you if an accident occurs. Boat insurance will generally cost more if you live in a coastal state or near an especially large or populated body of water. Most states do not have any laws requiring boat insurance for all boat owners, except for Utah and Arkansas, but that only applies to motorized boats. A small paddle boat does not need insurance in those states.

Stay Hydrated

While it may seem counterintuitive to keep yourself sufficiently hydrated when you are spending so much time in and around the water, many health and safety organizations recommend that you drink plenty of water while swimming. These guidelines apply especially to those who are practicing to swim competitively or are doing a lot of exhaustive swimming for other reasons. Not only will you need to rehydrate, but you will also need to replenish your sodium and nutrient levels, similarly to any other sport. No matter how healthy or hydrated you feel when you exit the water, make sure you have water and healthy snacks around to revitalize yourself.

Protect Your Skin

If you are in the water while you are spending long periods of time outdoors, it is especially important that you protect your skin with sunscreen. Even the toughest skin can sometimes succumb to the harsh rays of the sun, so sunscreen is important for everyone. However, sunscreen is not the only way to protect yourself from the sun. You can also wear hats, sunglasses, and as much clothing as you can without risking overheating. The more skin you can cover with sunscreen, clothing, or shade, the better.

Large bodies of water and the areas surrounding those bodies of water are where many people find fun, work, and personal fulfillment, but they can also be somewhat dangerous places. Knowing how to keep yourself and those around you safe is one of the most important things you can do.


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