Just remembering all of those rules is really quite a task.
And so to set the record straight and clear up the confusion,
Let me explain the reason for my New Years resolutions.
I will turn on my blower, when I’m running rather slow
'Cause CO is odorless and deadly, as you know.
I’ll check flares and extinguishers, especially the date.
Because in an emergency, there’s little time to wait.
I wear a lightweight life jacket when voyaging around,
Because in most fatalities, you’ll find the victim drowned.
I’ll Vow to take a first aid class: learn CPR and more
When the emergency’s on board, help’s always on the shore
When pumping fuel into my boat I promise to take care
Flying may be fun, but not when blown into the air.
When setting my boat’s anchor, the rode’ll be 7 to 1
‘Cause drifting on some muddy shoal is really not much fun.
I’ll monitor my fuel, remembering the rule of thirds
Endangering on empty, is much more than absurd.
I’ll check the weather forecast and always watch the sky
With rain you’re wet and soggy, but with lightning you can die.
I’ll go into new waters with GPS ‘n chart in hand
What looks like tawny water, Mate, could actually be land.
There’s navigational hazards, pilings and shoals you know.
And using local charts could save you an expensive Tow.
When a person is in the water, my engines I will stop
I wouldn't want to injure them with my razor sharp prop.
And I will never use alcohol when I am the skipper
For a Captain under the influence is as dangerous as Jack the Ripper
I truly love cruising my boat and don’t want one mistake.
But there are times when I forget about my vessel’s wake.
In the spirit of the New Year I will take time to pause.
Remembering the injuries and harm my wake could cause
These are my resolutions with appropriate explanations
To be a safer boater is high in my expectations.
I’ll do things right and I’ll forget past misdeeds and remorses.
Every boater needs United States Power Squadron courses.
Happy and Safe New Year
Lt. Bill Hempel, P
Peace River Sail and Power Squadron
William Hempel is a featured writer for the Sun Newspapers in Southern Florida. He was the first recipient of the United States Power Squadron’s Ship’s Bell Award for significant public relations and is a member of the National Marketing and Public Relations Committee.