Everyday Dangerous Boating Situations and How To Avoid Them

Whether you’re in West Palm Beach or any other place across the country, it’s important to consider safety whenever you’re on the water. Boating season brings a unique set of risks and conditions that you should always prepare for. 

If you’re looking to revamp your setup or get into boating, ARG Marine has you covered with outboard boat motors for sale. We sell one of the biggest selections in the world with shipping all over the world. 

Let’s look at three of the most dangerous boating situations and how to be prepared for them. 

Dock Electrical Safety

It’s very common for boat owners to keep their boats at a marina. Marinas offer a lot of benefits, including water and electricity. However, dock wiring errors can cause serious situations at times. An electrical fault in your boat can potentially energize the water around it and electrocute someone swimming nearby. This is known as Electrical Shock Drowning (ESD). This is typically only a problem in freshwater marinas and not saltwater. To avoid this potentially dangerous situation if your boat is in a freshwater marina, don’t swim or let your passengers swim around the dock or around your boat if there are shore electrical connections.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that comes from gasoline or diesel combustion. It’s possible to get carbon monoxide exposure or accumulation on any boat with an engine or generator, including an outboard engine. Carbon monoxide is invisible and doesn’t smell, which can make it quickly and silently deadly. All enclosed cabin areas on a boat should be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors. It’s also a good idea to be familiar with the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include the following:


– Dizziness

– Headache

– Confusion

– Drowsiness

– Blurred vision

– Nausea


A person doesn’t have to show all these symptoms to be affected by carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can most definitely happen outside of an enclosed space. For example, it can occur in the cockpit or from an exhaust backdraft when the boat is moving. It can also happen when the boat is idling or moving at slow speeds. Regularly inspect your boat’s exhaust system to ensure it’s free of leaks and is properly connected. Blocked exhaust ports can cause carbon monoxide to build up and accumulate on the boat. 

Propeller Safety

Where there’s boating, there’s most likely to be swimming. It’s hard to beat boating out to a prime swimming spot and enjoying some summer leisure time. However, boat propellers can present some safety hazards. Before anyone jumps in the water, make sure the boat is turned off, and the propeller has completely stopped turning. As long as people are swimming near the boat or getting in and out of the boat from the water, the engine and propeller should be off. You should also make sure your passengers know where the propeller is.

Before you start your boat to go home or move to a new spot, make sure that no one is still in the water around the boat. If you end up in a situation where you need to approach someone in the water, make sure to approach head-on and not in reverse. Once you get to the person, turn the engine off before bringing the person on board. 

Always stay alert for people in the water, especially when you’re in an area with divers or skiers.

Start your boating season or upgrade your boat by checking out our selection of outboard boat motors for sale at ARG Marine.