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Surface carefully to avoid coming up under a boat or some other object. If visibility is poor, extend one or both hands above your head to ward off any object. If you lose visual contact with your buddy, listen for the sound of escaping bubbles from the other scuba equipment. If unable to locate your buddy, pound on your cylinder to attract attention. If this fails,  surface,  locate  your  buddy,  and  then descend  together. Check your cylinder pressure and equipment before a second dive. Know how to use an alternate air source and a low-pressure   buoyancy   compensation   inflation system. Boating The purchase of a nautical-type or sailor’s hat does not suddenly cloak a person in boating experience. The overwhelming majority of boat operators involved in fatal accidents have never taken a safe boating course. Before you go boating, take a safe boating course. For more information on the boat course, call the Coast Guard Boating Course hot line at 1-800-336-BOAT. About 50 percent of all boating mishaps resulting in serious injuries involve alcohol. Operating a boat while intoxicated, with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.10 percent or more, carries a $1,000 civil penalty. It carries a criminal penalty of up to $5,000, 1 year in jail, or both. Collisions  or  people  falling  overboard  causes  most boating injuries. If you fall or are accidentally thrown into the water, a personal flotation device (PFD) can save your life. U.S. Coast Guard studies show that up to 85  percent  of  all  boating  deaths  could  have  been prevented  if  the  victims  had  been  wearing  a  PFD. Always wear a PFD when boating. Even though it isn’t a Navy regulation, we strongly urge you to wear a PFD when you are in your own boat. However, in a watercraft owned by the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) Department, the operator and any passengers must wear a PFD approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. Match your motor to your boat. If you use a motor, have someone check it before your first boat trip of the season.  Make  sure  you  have  a  fire  extinguisher  aboard, along  with  tools  and  equipment  to  make  minor  motor adjustments or repairs. Make sure you have enough fuel before  starting  out.  NEVER  refuel  with  the  motor running. 11-6 Do  not  go  out  in  a  small  boat  unless  you  are thoroughly familiar with the craft. Learn to handle your boat by practicing near shore in shallow, smooth water. Become familiar with the basic rules about right-of- ways, channel markings, anchorages, and use of lights. Leave a float plan with a friend before you set out. Your  plan  should  include  the  identification  number  of your boat, who is with you, where you are going, when you expect to return, and when to contact the Coast Guard.  Inspect  your  boat  each  time  before  you  use  it, checking for leaks and other defects. Remove any water that may be present on the deck to reduce the possibility of slip hazards. Check weather conditions before you leave home and while on the water. Storms come up in a  hurry.  Learn  to  read  cloud  formations  and  other weather signs. Never leave the dock without all required safety  equipment. Make sure you do not overload or improperly load your  boat.  Counting  the  number  of  seats  does  not indicate capacity. Overloading is dangerous and reduces freeboard (the distance from the waterline to the edge of the  boat).  Improper  loading  makes  a  boat  unstable  or less maneuverable. Know the safe load capacity and recommended  horsepower  for  your  boat.  The  best  place for the load is on the bottom and in the middle. Do not allow passengers to sit or stand on the bow, stern, or gunwales. In rough water, place the load, including passengers,  low  to  keep  the  boat  stable  sideways;  place the load away from the ends to give the bow and stern buoyancy. Keep a small boat away from big boats, especially at night. Speedboats and paddle-wheelers are especially dangerous. Before large swells from a large boat reach your small boat, head into them. Slow down so they will slide under your boat from end to end. TIPS  IN  CASE  OF  BOAT  OR  WEATHER TROUBLE.— What do you do in case of trouble? First of all, don’t panic. The following are a few boating tips you should keep in mind: If you get trapped on the water by a sudden squall, point the bow into (toward) the wind. Reduce speed or shorten the sail at once. If you get caught in rough water, head the boat so that it receives the waves at a 45-degree angle either to the left or to right side of the bow. Do not  get  crosswise, Go slowly against a strong sea because speed can bury  the  bow,  allowing  more  water  to  come aboard. Arrange your load to keep the bow up.

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