National Safe Boating week is more than just steering the boat safely and not hitting other boats, it has to do with the operation of the boat, and following the rules.

One of the things being hammered home is the "WEAR IT!" slogan for the safe boating campaign from the CDC and the Coast Guard. Many people don't check their life preserver in their boat to make sure it fits, or that it is still safe to use. My Uncle used to have the kids wear our life preserver in the water and swim with them so we could tell that it still worked.

Now that you know it works, Coast Guard News says you should always wear them. If you have a child under 13, they have to wear a life preserver in the boat or any other water activity.

CGN also says don't drink and boat. Person's in the boat can drink if they are of age, but the person operating the boat may not. It's amazing to me how many times this is reiterated to people not to drink and operated any watercraft and yet it still happens.

CGN says to check everything on the boat, not just the life preservers. Any safety equipment needs to be checked. Small boats might not have much, but bigger boats have floating devices hanging to save someone who is drowning or is being swept away and others can't reach them. Make sure they are checked and you know where they are in case you need them.

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CGN says to make sure you have fresh batteries and communication devices. Have a back-up to the back-up. Something happens, the weather changes, you are prepared. Personal Emergency Beacons are being used and are a great way to be found if you are swept away and have to call the coast guard, make sure it is registered with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at

Last but not least let several people know where you intend to go, so if you don't return you can be found, or at least searched for.

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