Essential Safety Equipment for Boaters
What do you think you should do if you’re boating and happen to have some kind of accident? Chances are good you’ll quickly respond by telling people not to panic but if you have a cell phone on board you’ll probably have a few seconds to get the details as to what’s going on before people start panicking. Here are some tips on safe boating for those situations where you must remain calm and collected despite being overcome with panic.
Safe Boating Tip: For maximum effect, it s highly recommended that you keep all of your safety equipment on board. Storing it in a confined space and/or bag will make it less accessible to anyone who might happen to notice it. For example, having a canister of fire extinguishers on board can go a long way toward keeping people calm when there is a fire on a boat. Also, having a device for dealing with flooding will also help keep people from getting too concerned over a minor incident that could have easily been avoided. A canister of fire extinguisher, for example, can turn a situation from bad to worse if someone is trapped under water.
Fire Extinguishers Most boats come with at least one fire extinguisher in them. Even if yours does not have one installed, it is a wise idea to purchase one as soon as you buy the boat so that you will be able to use it right away if a fire begins in the boat. Fire extinguishers can be kept in easy access locations on boats or in the passenger area so that they will be easily accessible in the event of a fire. Many fire extinguishers also come with an indicator that will allow other boaters to know when they are out of commission.
First Aid Kit – Even if a fire extinguisher is not on a boat, it is still wise to keep a first aid kit on board because people will get injured while boating. Most first aid kits will contain bandages, painkillers, cotton balls, and other items that are easily portable. Boats with a GPS system may also include an emergency phone call feature that is very helpful for boaters. Boats that offer passengers a means to communicate with the Coast Guard are even more highly recommended because a distress signal is much easier for a passenger to hear than a horn or other boating device.
Life Jackets – One of the most important pieces of safety equipment on any boat is the life jacket. Because life jackets reduce the chance of drowning, they should always be worn. However, not all life jackets work equally. The material used in life jackets is important because some materials are more buoyant than others and can actually sink to the bottom, resulting in dire circumstances for the wearer. A good quality life jacket should be thick enough to keep water from penetrating the body but lightweight enough to still work. A good quality boat anchor will make sure that the life jacket keeps the wearer secure.
Boat Electronics – Some boats have onboard electronics that are very useful for boating safety. Electronic devices should be installed so that they are easy to use and portability is never a problem. A GPS navigation device is ideal for this purpose. Cruising speed gauges are also great boating accessories that many people enjoy using.
Pump – Many new ships offer the option of a single person pump for each person. A single person pump is perfect for a small boat or a boat that has several persons on board. These pumps are typically powered by a gas engine. However, many boats still have a manual pump that is very convenient for boating safety requirements.
Personal Floatation Devices – Personal flotation devices are essential to keep one’s feet and legs above water. They come in many different sizes and designs. They include a personal floatation device, a life jacket, and even a personal re-boarding device if a boat has a built in buoy. All of these items should be kept in a waterproof container when not in use. The most common re-boarding devices are float-cell batteries and tethers.