8 Tips to Weather Storms On the Water

by
posted on May 22, 2020
thunderstorm-over-beach.jpg
We write a lot in this space about what to do when life in the outdoors gets a little too outdoorsy, such as when severe storms pop up. But as scary as it can be when a thunderstorm approaches you on land, it's doubly so when you're out on the water. Whether you're taking advantage of the balmier days to fish and swim from a boat, or whether you're a waterfowler who might hunt from a boat, you should know that weather conditions can change quite rapidly. Here are some tips from the Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) for boaters on how to react during a storm.
 
“While the skies may look sunny as you’re heading to the lake, it’s important to always check the weather forecast for the entirety of the trip,” said Josh Hoffman, AZGFD’s boating safety education coordinator. “If severe weather is likely, stay home and reschedule your trip for another day. And if you’re already on the lake or river and storms are starting nearby, get off the water if you can do so safely.” Continued Hoffman,"“Thinking through these actions in advance can help prepare you in the event that you find yourself on the water when a storm hits."
 
 
1. While life jackets are required for children 12 and younger, everyone should wear a life jacket at all times while on the water. Storms can create large waves that could knock a passenger from the boat.
 
2. Monitor the weather around you, and use a weather radio for updates from the National Weather Service. If storms are predicted or are building, pull your boat out of the water or consider postponing your outing.
 
3. Secure all gear above and below decks.
 
4. Keep everyone onboard away from electrical and ungrounded components, and remain as low in the boat as possible.
 
5. Slow down but keep enough power to maintain headway and steering.
 
6. Turn on your navigation lights.
 
7. If possible, head for the nearest shore that’s safe to approach. It may be best to ride it out in open water rather than try to approach the shore in heavy wind and waves.
 
8. Boats should head the bow into the waves at a 45-degree angle. Personal watercrafts should head directly into the waves.
 
 “It’s also a good idea to leave a float plan with a friend or relative who isn’t going on the boat with you," said Hoffman. "Be sure to include where you’re going and when you expect to return, so they can follow up to make sure you made it home safely.”
 

Latest

Savage Stance Video Lede
Savage Stance Video Lede

Video Review: Savage Stance Pistol

Our expert reviewers put Savage's first handgun in decades through its paces.

Wild-Game Recipe: Smothered Deer Backstraps

How do you improve on venison backstraps? Here's how!

Henry Guns For Great Causes: $50K to First Responders Children's Foundation

“The primary focus of our Guns for Great Causes program has always been about children, which is why we are extremely proud to help support such an esteemed and worthwhile organization."

3 Things That Will Doom Your Muzzleloader Hunt From Jump

Here's how to make sure your blackpowder gun stays in the game from opening day to season's end.

Throwback Thursday: Hemingway's Guns

He may have written "A Farewell to Arms," but this literary giant was a firearms fanatic.

Forget Freezing Fingers with G-Tech Realtree Heated Hand Warmers

Good trigger control is tough when you can't feel your fingers. Keep them warm with this new piece of must-have gear.

Interests



Get the best of NRA Family delivered to your inbox.