Tips for Viewing Fourth of July Fireworks from Your Boat
Open waters and open skies make for the best fireworks display. There’s no better place than laid back on your boat with your friends and family while watching fireworks on the 4th of July. But there are a few tips you should consider that will heighten the excitement of the fireworks, and to make sure you’re taking the proper safety precautions while on the water.
First of all, you should check the US Coast Guard’s local notice to mariner’s website for any special instructions for boaters during the big event. Be sure to follow these instructions – they are not only mandatory to keep you safe, but to keep other’s safe as well. Make sure your boat is equipped with the correct safety equipment and check that everything is functioning normally. Life jackets should already be on board, but if you have any newcomers or irregulars that will be joining you on your boat for the special event, you’ll need to be sure you have extra life jackets.
When looking for the perfect place to drop anchor, you’ll want to make sure you anchor downwind of the show. If you anchor your boat upwind, you may not hear the fireworks very well – and we all know, there’s nothing better than feeling and hearing the powerful boom of fireworks!
Find your location and anchor early. You can take the extra time to eat, play games, or just relax before the fireworks begin. You can also take this time to make sure your anchor is set properly, and see that your anchor lights are on and working. Training your newer passengers on board about the normal procedures and emergency procedures is another great thing to take up this extra time. Better safe than sorry!
When it comes to being patriotic on the water, many people enjoy a nice ‘drink’. However, it’s best that you not allow alcohol on board while in the middle of a body of water (read the Preventable Tragedy). Of course, the captain definitely shouldn’t drink as it can impair his ability to react or impair his vision in general. But passengers should also be warned about alcohol on board. If an emergency should arise, passengers may not be able to react as quickly as needed. They could also lose their balance more easily than if they were sober. Passengers under the influence of alcohol or any type of drug can also distract the captain of the boat.
When the show is finished and it’s time for the festivities to end, take your time when pulling up anchor and leaving. Remember, there are many other boaters on the water going the same exact direction you are. There’s no rush, so take your time and be cautious. There may be other boaters not following proper safety guidelines, or worse, they may be driving under the influence of alcohol. Rushing back to dock isn’t worth an accident. Enjoy this relaxing moment with your loved ones and cruise slowly back to land.
Bonus: Top National In-Water Destinations For July 4 Fireworks Displays
There’s nothing worse than being distracted by lights or obnoxious noises while watching your fireworks show, so be courteous to other boaters. Don’t play with flashlights, spotlights, or large lights of any kind. Also, if you’re playing music on board, make sure it’s not too loud for other boaters to hear. Just because you like a particular kind of music, doesn’t mean others want to listen to it.
From all your friends at Hagadone Marine Group; have fun, be safe, be courteous, and most of all… enjoy your 4th of July!!