Boating expert offers tips on how to stay safe on the water this summer

Bob Kita teaches boating safety. He took a News 12 crew on a ride to a couple of popular spots in Ocean County where one may find themselves over the next few months

Jim Murdoch

Jun 14, 2024, 9:38 PM

Updated 29 days ago

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New Jersey’s waterways are getting crowded as more and more people hit the water for the summer.
News 12 rode along with the staff from Freedom Boat Club and Boat Safe U.S. to learn more about water safety during the busy season.
Bob Kita teaches boating safety. He took a News 12 crew on a ride to a couple of popular spots in Ocean County where one may find themselves over the next few months.
Staying safe on the water requires some skills, but mostly common sense, Kita says.
“It’s a pretty simple philosophy to wear your life jacket and arrive home safe,” says Kita.
A trip through the often-treacherous Point Pleasant Canal means everyone must be on high alert.
“Standing waves will start when the current comes screaming through, either tide coming in and going out, and that, combined with wake from other boats, will create a washing machine effect,” Kita explained.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, New Jersey averaged 117 boating accidents over the last five years. During that time, 31 people died. Kita says to help bring those numbers down, the public should leave the booze on dry land.
“You add the hot sun, the heat, the glare, the noise and vibration of the boat, and BAM - you’ve got a recipe for disaster when you add alcohol,” Kita says.
In crowded situations, like at the busy F Cove, Kita says people should always stay aware of their surroundings, even when parked.
“It’s important to always stay away from the business end of that boat, so if you’re approaching it from the swimming area, don’t cross anywhere near that engine or lower unit with that sharp edge propeller on it,” he says.
Other key areas of safety involve staying well hydrated, and weather aware.
Kita’s Boat Safe U.S. boating safety classes run year-round. For more information on the classes, visit their website.


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