|Driving A Boat Safely|
A few weekends ago at Clarks Hill, I left the ramp at Mistletoe State Park Sunday afternoon headed back to my trailer at Raysville Boat Club. I was running down the center of the creek about 100 yards from either bank when I met a boat headed in the opposite direction.
I eased to the right a little since we were headed directly toward each other, and he eased to his left. I kept going right and he kept going left until I thought we were going to hit. I finally slowed enough to avoid him and he gave me a strange look as he passed.
It was obvious he did not have a clue as to the correct way to turn. He had no idea what the boating laws require. I could tell from the look on his face he thought I was in the wrong.
Most boats have the drivers seat on the right side, just the opposite from a car. I guess that is the reason many people think you are supposed to go left, meeting boats on the side you are sitting on. Wrong! The rules of the road apply to boats, too.
You should learn the correct way to drive a boat before getting out on the water. I wish simple rules any idiot driving a boat could understand could be posted at ramps, showing you rules you should follow. Maybe that would help. A couple of years ago two men in a tournament were killed when they were hit head on. Somebody was not obeying the laws.
June 1 - 10 is National Fishing and Boating Week. Celebrate the great outdoors by learning how to drive a boat. Take an online course listed on the right. Get in touch with your state Department of Natural Resources. But most important, be considerate of other people out there!
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