The importance of sunscreen while on the water

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Far too often, people fall victim to the sun when spending the day out on the water. Either they forget to wear sunscreen all together, or they don’t reapply often throughout the day. It takes only a couple of minutes to spread a little protection on your body.

Failing to put sunscreen on can increase your chances of the following conditions:

• Sunburn
• Pre-mature Wrinkles
• Skin Cancer

Sunburn

Sunburn not only makes you look funny, but it can also be quite painful. Some people have even gotten 3rd degree burns from being in the sun unprotected. Taking time to take care of your skin by protecting it, can save you a lot of discomfort in the long run. You should use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and make sure you reapply often. The recommended time frame is every 2 hours. [You should reapply sooner if you spend most of your time in the water.] Avoiding sun exposure during the hours of 10 AM – 4 PM is also recommended. This is when the Sun’s rays are the strongest.

Pre-Mature Wrinkles

If you have had sunburn even just 1 time in your life, you may develop pre-mature wrinkles. To lessen the damage, when you come in from your time on the water, you should apply a lotion to moisturize your skin. To help combat pre-mature wrinkles around your eyes, you may want to invest in an eye cream.
This will help improve the appearance of wrinkles around your eye, or help prevent them from developing all together.

Skin Cancer

Incidences of skin cancer are on the rise. It’s important to realize that you can help prevent the disease by taking care of yourself prior to any type of sun exposure. If you are an avid boater, you should take time to visit with a dermatologist on a regular basis to make sure your skin is clear from any type of skin cancer. You might want to take extra precaution and where a wide brim hat and long sleeves while boating to protect your most exposed areas even more.

Resources:

http://www.allatsea.net/boating-sun-protection-enjoying-outdoors-safely/

Drinking and Boating don’t mix!

Everyone loves to head out onto the boat for the day to enjoy the outdoors and be out on the open water.
However, one of the quickest ways to spoil the fun is to have a boating accident caused by alcohol.
Boating trips should be treated like car trips and the designated driver should stay sober and alert.

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Alcohol affects your body by:

1. Increasing your reaction time.

2. A sober skipper will make better judgments about speed and distance between hazards and if something does threaten to happen will be better able to avoid an accident.

3. Increasing the likelihood of ending up overboard during an incident.

4. Balance and coordination are greatly affected by alcohol and you are more likely to end up overboard in the event of a sudden stop or turn.

5. Changes the way your body reacts in the water.

6. Alcohol reduces the amount of blood flow to your brain and muscles which results in more rapid heat loss which can lead to hypothermia. It also inhibits your ability to hold your breath.

7. Decreasing your ability to survive once in the water.

8. As a result of high blood alcohol levels you have an increased sense of security and a false perception of your abilities. You may try to do something that you aren’t capable of and worsen your situation.

Preparation is key.

The best way to avoid of these dangers is to save your cocktail hour for the shore. Plan your day on the water without alcohol or limit the amount.

When packing your boat and cooler for the day only bring one or two alcoholic beverages per person on the boat. That way no one will be able to over indulge. It’s just as important for passengers to stay sober as it is for the skipper.

Pack plenty of water and bring pop or smoothie shakes to sip on while you’re out on the water. Alternate between water and beer to keep hydrated and within reasonable limits.

Pack something for everyone to eat, especially if you plan to stopover anywhere. Of course you don’t want to have a heavy meal if you are going to be swimming but keeping snacks handy will provide an alternative to drinking.

Remember that there is no such thing as ‘off duty’ when you are out on the water. Even if you are anchored, you need to be ready and able to respond to an emergency.

Enjoy your time on the water and stay safe!

Sources:

http://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/Recreational-Boating/alcohol/