Until people can figure out a way to place road markings, street signs, and stoplights out in the open water, safety will have to be achieved through everyone's collective effort to observe protocol. That's why it's important that all boaters are fully aware of the safety practices on the waves to prevent accidents and expensive damages.
One common mistake that people make is passing dangerously behind another boat without providing enough distance. But what is the risk when a PWC passes too closely behind another boat? Here's why you probably shouldn't do it again the next time around.
What's the Risk?
So what is the risk when a PWC passes too closely behind another boat? Well according to the Boat Ed quizlet and answer log, it's imperative that you keep a clear visual of everything around your boat at all times. But passing too closely behind another boat or PWC creates a blind spot for both you and other boats passing along the opposite side of the boat.
This could put you at risk of a collision, which may result to serious injury and expensive property damage not only for you, but for the other boat involved.
A Closer Look at the Possible Danger
According to the US Coast Guard, personal watercrafts or PWC's are the type of boat most commonly involved in a collision on the water. Actually, the US Coast Guard log indicates that PWC collisions cause more injuries and deaths than any other accident involving a PWC.
There are a number of reasons why a person might collide into another boat, and driving behind too closely can be one of them. Imagine when a jet ski or smaller vessel passes behind another larger one, the bigger boat will create a blind spot. That happens because boat they pass covers the view of the PWC so that they can't see if there are any other vessels that are driving towards their direction.
In the same way, the oncoming vessel, jet ski, or boat will not see if there are watercrafts driving behind the boat either. This will create a blind spot for both boats, especially if the boat being passed is a slow moving vessel of significant size.
How to Prevent a Blind Spot Collision
No one wants to be involved in a collision on the water. So it's important to make sure that you understand the rules involved especially since unlike paved roads, law enforcement can't put signs, stoplights, and markings out on the waves.
In fact, the US Coast Guard's navigational rules log has stipulations that specifically address this issue. The fifth rule states that:
"Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper lookout by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision."
With that, what can you do exactly to prevent blind spots and the collision that could potentially come with them? Here are some tips you might want to keep in your log.
Unless you have a completely unobstructed view of the water ahead of and around you, make sure you're going slow. Cruising too fast through the water limits your reaction time in case you need to slow down or stop entirely.
Keep Your Eyes Peeled
It's imperative that you maintain a proper lookout at all times. If there's a blind spot or obstruction that's keeping you from seeing exactly what's ahead of your PWC, don't hesitate to stop your watercraft or slow down as you approach.
Be Aware of Signs, Flags and Signals
There are loads of safety signals, signs, and flags that people use to make boating safe for everyone. Keep a log of and familiarize yourself with the visual and auditory prompts that boats can use to inform other vessels of potential hazards.
Whatever the case, always maintain your distance from other boats in the water. If in case there's an oncoming boat that's out of view, driving farther away can give you time to adjust your course so you don't collide.
Tell Passengers to Sit
Even your passengers could become the reason for a blind spot. If you're using a personal watercraft with room for passengers to move around, they could block your sight and cause an accident. Tell everyone to remain seated and look out for any blind spots while they're at it.
So what is the risk when a PWC passes too closely behind another boat? There are quite a lot actually. See to it that whenever you take a ride on your personal water craft, you always check for blind spots that could send you crashing into another PWC. It's equally important that you don't create a blind spot yourself by moving too closely to other boats that could get in the way of your view.