DISTRACTED BOATING. DON’T DO IT.
Distracted driving? Oh, yeah, it can be dangerous, and most states have laws to combat it. Is it easier to avoid distractions while piloting a boat compared to a car? No, probably harder. There are no white lines to follow, other vessels approach from all directions at all speeds, sea conditions get lumpy, channels narrow, harbors turn crowded, calls come in on the VHF, fish strike trolling lines, and people move around the boat. The list of on-the-water attention diverters goes on and on.
Experienced skippers have learned to pay attention around their boats while underway, but how can new boaters get that experience as safely as possible? And is it possible for experienced skippers to sharpen their situational awareness? The folks at the National Safe Boating Council asked that question too. To get an answer, the council’s director emeritus Virgil Chambers developed a simple protocol called SCAN for keeping a proper lookout: search, concentrate, analyze and negotiate.
It’s all common sense, isn’t it?
Sure, but can it be scientifically proven to help? It can. Look for our full report on distracted boating on boatingmag.com.