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Keep the boat well bailed; if necessary, throw out heavy items (not people) to lighten the craft. In swift current, do not grab for trees or bushes along the bank to slow up. If your boat capsizes or swamps, try to keep calm. Most small boats support several people even though filled with water. A swamped boat, right side up, will support about as many persons as it is designed to carry when afloat. If you can manage it, sit in the swamped boat. Do not try to swim for shore even if you think you can do it easily. Instead, paddle or row for shore or wait for help. In rough or cold water, maintain a firm hold on the boat with a belt or rope. TIPS  IN  CASE  SOMEONE  FALLS  OVER- BOARD.— If someone falls overboard, grab the person quickly and hang on if possible. Get the person back into the boat as fast as you can. If the person tries to climb over the side in a panic, balance the boat until he or she gets in or quiets down. Throw a life preserver, cushion, or rope to a person who is some distance from the boat instead of going into the water after him or her. Bring the person aboard over the stern if it is square; bring the person aboard near either the bow or stern if the stern is not square. Rescuers should keep low in the boat; that allows them to have one hand free, most of the time, to hang onto the boat. Water  Skiing Water skiing is one of the most sports. Spectacular as it appears, it is thrilling of water among the easiest to  learn.  Many  people,  particularly  children,  master  the basics within an hour. Even though it seems easy, you still must take precautions and know various factors before you ski. To  water-ski  safely  requires  three  people:  the  skier, the  boat  operator,  and  an  observer  who  knows  all  the proper hand signals. It is not surprising that showing off is the chief cause of water-skiing mishaps. Before you even think about strapping on a pair of water skis, learn correct and safe water-skiing tech- niques  from  a  qualified  instructor.  The  instructor  will teach you how to hold the towline, how to “get up” on skis while keeping your balance, and how to control your skis. SIGNAL MEANING A  thumbs-up  gesture Boat  faster A thumbs-down gesture Boat  slower Thumb and forefinger in Speed  OK shape of an Circle finger overhead and Turns point in direction of turn desired Raise  hand  with  fingers  spread  Stop Slap thigh with hand Return to dock or shore Draw hand or finger across Cut  motor throat Point in direction you wish to Go that way go, then point to yourself Clasp  hands  overhead  while I’m OK treading water (after fall) Figure  11-3.—Water-skiing  signals. Before  you  water-ski,  check  your  equipment, making sure the personal flotation device (PFD) you wear fits properly and is secure. Some states require a rearview mirror for the boat driver. Pay close attention to the tightness of the ski binders or runners. Know  the  different  water-skiing  signals  you  must use to communicate with the boat operator and the observer (fig. 11-3). You only need to know two audible signals. When you are in the starting position and want the boat operator to take up the slack in your towline, shout  “In  gear,”  When the line becomes taut, your ski tips are up, and you are ready to begin skiing, shout “Hit it” for your boat operator to open the throttle. Relax when you ski. Holding the towline too tight and becoming tense are bad habits. A relaxed skier learns fast and takes few spills while learning. Don’t try stunts  beyond  your  ability.  Learn  each  stunt  progres- sively. Leave the fancy skiing to the professionals. NEVER wrap the towrope around any portion of your body or place your arms or legs through the bridle. Always ski in water that is deep enough. How do you know if the water is deep enough? Your skis should not touch bottom. Make sure the water is free of floating objects  and  other  obstructions. 11-7

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