■ Wear your lifejacket — this is the single most important thing to do to help keep yourself safer on the water.
■ Take two waterproof ways to call for help — if you can’t call, then no one can rescue you.
■ Check the marine weather forecast — it is not the same as land and general forecasts. The weather will be different on the water.
■ Avoid alcohol — you know not to drink and drive. It’s the same on a boat.
■ Be a responsible skipper — the skipper is legally responsible for the safety of the boat and everyone on board. A great way to know the basis is to do the Coastguard Boating Education Day Skipper course www.boatingeducation.org.nz