Working on a boat during the summertime can be enjoyable, but it also presents unique safety challenges. Many of the same safety tips that apply to recreational boaters also apply to professional mariners, at least when it comes to “beating the heat” when working out on the water in the summertime.
When spending time on a boat during the summertime, it’s important to take precautions to protect yourself and others from the potentially harmful effects of heat and sun exposure.
5 tips to keep in mind
While some of the tips below may seem obvious to seasoned mariners, it never hurts to review the basics at the start of each summer season.
- Drink plenty of water: Dehydration is a significant concern when spending time in the sun. Drink water regularly, even if you don’t feel thirsty, to stay properly hydrated. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.
- Seek sheltered areas: When possible, find shade on the boat to protect yourself from direct sunlight.
- Use sun protection: If possible and appropriate to your job duties, wear a wide-brimmed hat to protect your face, neck and ears from the sun. Wear sunglasses with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays.
- Use broad-spectrum sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF (Sun Protection Factor) to all exposed skin, including your face, neck, arms and legs. Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or more frequently if wet or sweating excessively.
- Take breaks indoors: If possible, take breaks from direct sun exposure by going indoors or finding a shaded area on the boat. Use these breaks to rest, rehydrate and cool down.
Remember, heat-related illnesses, such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke, can be dangerous. If you or someone on the boat experiences symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, headache, rapid heartbeat, or confusion seek medical attention immediately. If you are injured enough to require medical care and/or time off of work, you may benefit from seeking legal guidance concerning your right to injury-related compensation.